Poisonous spiders invade Britain
Global warming sparks arachnid warning
A Natural History Museum expert has warned that global warming is giving invasive poisonous spiders the chance to thrive in Britain.
The false widow spider, Steatoda nobilis, was first recorded in the UK in 1897, according to the museum.
The female's bite can hospitalise an adult man. One victim reported: "Bitten on the shoulder. Initially the top of my arm ached, then felt itchy. Ten minutes later my armpit became numb. The skin was hot and sticky and looked wrinkled. The tenderness and itchiness lasted for some days (later said to be infected)."
Other effects include flu-like symptoms, stiffness, a burning sensation, and pain "more severe than a bee or wasp sting".
Until recently, the false widow's spread had been stymied by harsh weather. It was not fully established until the 1980s, but is now spreading rapidly east and north from its Dorset stronghold, and bite incidents are increasing.
Entomologist Stuart Hine told Thisislondon.co.uk: "There is no doubt in my mind that this is due to the milder winters caused by global warming.
"They are all surviving the winter and are crawling out of hibernation earlier to mate. The numbers have just rocketed into the hundreds of thousands."
Hine warned gardeners to be on the lookout for the new menace. ®
In my house!
One of these nearly bit me last week. When I walked into my dining room, I saw something in the corner of my eye and it was one of these in the middle of the room suspended by a single strand of silk in mid air.
Eventually it climbed up, but when I moved it went back down again and dropped on the floor.
At this point, it didn't last very long.
Why is it that everything has to be because of global warming?
It is (more or less) common knowledge that the climate cycles, and the temperature is supposed to be on an uprise just about now. The greenhouse effect and all that does probably amplify it somewhat, but I still haven't read a credible report showing beyond doubt that it is made noticeably worse by man.
The best report I've read so far has data some few hundred years back which is, in this context, a short moment, and not long enough to make a reliable statistical model. For that you need accurate temperature and CO2 measurements dating back a few thousand years,
Yes, the temperature is rising now. MAYBE we can do something to slow it down. Can we stop it? No.
To this I say AMEN. I am old enough to remember that in the 1970's scientists were telling us we were heading into an ICE AGE and it would come sooner if we didn't mend our ways!!!! This is a fact, look it up. This whole global warming issue is a mechanism for unemployed scientists and their companies to get public funding and to sell newspapers/magazines.
To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee...
"That's not a spider.
This is a spider..."
Here in Sydney, you can easily find these at the bottom of your garden: