Practising Tree surgery as a Tree surgeon / Arborist in Bexley, Bromley and Orpington, I come across a wide range of horrendous looking spiders on a daily basis. At this time of year spiders come out of their lairs to mate so you will see more and more of them. Following a spider attack on my Nephew which left him with pus filled boils and noticing other similar attacks I decided it was worth drawing up a chart of the top ten most dangerous spiders to look out for in Bromley, Bexley and Orpington.
10: The Money spider
Although supposedly lucky for anyone this little critter lands upon, it wasn't so lucky for the sewage workers who were reportedly attacked on mass causing redness and swelling.
Tree surgeon danger rating 1/10.
9: The Woodlouse Spider
As a tree surgeon we often come across these nasty looking creatures hunting their namesake prey, Woodlouse. They rarely attack humans but should you get in their way they wont hesitate to give you a venomous bite. Powerful enough to pierce the armour of a woodlouse and liquefy their insides but only powerful enough to give humans pain ranging from a nettle sting to a bee sting.
Tree surgeon danger rating 2/10.
8: The Walnut Orb-weaver spider
This is another spider tree surgeons regularly come across often hiding under bark but which also finds its way into your home. This although small in size packs a powerful punch. It has been reported that the bite from this creature is equivalent to an electric shock from finger to elbow, causing numbness for a few hours.
Tree surgeon danger rating 3/10
7: Black Lace weaver spider.
This spider is not only monstrous in looks but also in action. This is a matriphagous spider, which means its young devour the mother after hatching, but not before mummy lays a second set of eggs for the young to devour then actively encouraging her off spring to devour her a few days later. The bite from this spider has been known to cause a white patch on the bite area, reddening, swelling for a number of days and nausea.
Tree surgeon danger rating 4/10
6: The tube web spider.
I've come across this frightening beast many times when carrying out tree surgery in Bromley and Bexley. It has green fangs and it hides in nooks and crevices ready to jump out and attack its prey. One plus to this monstrous creation is it hunts other spiders, including the false widow spider. Apparently it has a sharp and painful bite equivalent to a deep injection or bee sting, usually subsiding within 6 hours
Tree surgeon danger rating 5/10
5: The wasp spider.
This spider was a fairly rare sight but due to warmer weather is much more common. The bite from this spider is sharp and causes immediate pain that can spread to the groin and that alone puts it high on the tree surgeon danger rating.
Tree surgeon danger rating 6/10
4. The Garden spider
Undoubtedly you will have seen this spider many times in your life. Your Mum probably told you they were totally harmless... not for on one lady who was bitten while in bed. Her "arm swelled badly for 3 days and she felt nauseous."
Tree surgeon danger rating 7/10
3. The Mouse Spider
This creature is a medium to large spider and pretty aggressive. It is unusual for one to attack a human unless provoked (you could move in your sleep). They are called mouse spiders due to the silver / grey hair that resembles mouse fur. They catch their prey by stalking and can be found mostly in outbuildings and under dead bark. Watch out as they move into the comfort of your nice warm home as the summer ends. If you are attacked then you can expect symptons similar to this report "Bitten on left hand. Looked like large pimple with pus-head surrounded by red inflammation. Wound burst and entire hand became septic. Wife also bitten: same painful wound for 7 days."
Tree surgeon danger rating 8/10
9. The Huntsman Spider
This massive eight eyed spider (all the better to see you with) is now commonly being found in the UK due to them stowing aboard shipments of fruit. They like to live in wooded areas hunting their prey. Although it is unusual for them to attack humans if you are near an egg sack then they wont hesitate to attack. The effects vary, including local swelling and pain, sometimes with nausea, headache, vomiting, irregular pulse rate, and heart palpitations, indicating some systemic neurological effects, especially when the bites were severe or repeated. Check your banana's!
Tree surgeon danger rating - 9/10
10. The False Widow
With a skull shape marking on its back, this little monster could be straight out of hell. Thought to have come across in the 1870s from the Canary Islands to Torquay this spider is the UK's most venomous spider. Although the pain from a bite is said to be equivalent to a bee or wasp sting, 10-11 people a year die from wasp / bee stings. The NHS recommends to avoid being bitten by a spider, you should avoid spiders. Not that helpful when you are unconscious, asleep and one comes out of the darkness.
Tree surgeon danger rating - 10/10