False Widow Spider

Dark brown spider isolated on a white background

Steatoda nobilis is most commonly known as the noble false widow spider (or simply false widow spider). It got its name because of its physical resemblance to the black widow spider which, as we all know, is one of the most venomous spiders in the world.


False widow spiders are medium in size. The female is about 9.5 to 14 mm, while the male is much shorter — between 7 and 11 mm. These spiders have reddish orange colored legs, while their bulbous abdomen, which has a cream colored skull-like marking, is brown in color. The false widow spider web is often in an irregular pattern and has a very sturdy silk.

Like most spiders, the false widow spider has poor eyesight and depends on the vibrations of its web to know what is happening around them. It also likes to rest in an upside down position, and for reasons unknown, it has a penchant for south facing walls.


Geographically, the false widow spider is a native in the UK while its cousin — the black widow spider — mainly resides in the United States.


A false widow spider is nocturnal in nature and likes to spend most of its time in holes or cracks with their webs next to it. For reasons unknown they are don’t go far from their web. They like dry and warm environment so they are mostly seen on comfort rooms or sheds.

However, always be careful because you might find them in your grocery bag, too! False widow spider found by shopper in her supermarket bunch of grapes .

Recently, the false widow spider has earned the reputation of being the most deadly spider in the UK. It is because there have been news about people being hospitalized or worst, having the bitten part of their body amputated. Mother shares horror after son was hospitalized by false widow spider bite.

Researchers proved otherwise, since there are no reported cases of deaths. But be warned, even though its bite is likened to a bee or a wasp stings, the symptoms of the bite is not to be taken lightly especially if you are allergic to venom.

READ: How an Irish man was hospitalized after false black widow bite


False widow spiders have webs with an irregular sticky silken fibre tangle. They are mostly found in deep cracks or holes.

Because widow spiders have poor eyesight, they can tell the prey’s location by the vibrations through their webs. This is also their way of avoiding larger animals that can kill or injure them.

False Widow Spider Bite Symptoms

So, what are the symptoms? Immediately after you are bitten an intense burning pain and discomfort will be felt radiating from the spot throughout the body, and is mostly accompanied by palpitations, fever, nausea and malaise. After some time, there will be swelling and numbness on the bitten area. But the symptoms often disappear within one to three days tops.

First Aid for a False Widow Spider Bite

How do we apply first aid? Wash the area with soap and water to prevent the infection from spreading, apply antiseptic creams to reduce discomfort and itching on the bitten area. Then use a bag of frozen peas as cold compress for around ten minutes. To lessen possible allergic reaction, antihistamines should also be given to the patient. Observe them for any further symptoms and when they do drive them to the nearest hospital; it will also help the doctor if you will also bring the culprit for further testing.

Even though the venom of a false widow is much much safer than the black widow, and since its bite is seldom felt, it is still best to be careful around spiders and not disturb them. Animals, spiders, included wont attack if they don’t feel threatened.

False or not, false widow spider can be as deadly as its cousin.

READ: How a gardener almost lost his leg in Wales, UK after a false widow spider bite.

READ: Father had a heart attack and stopped breathing after he was bitten by a false widow spider

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