Feeds

False widow spiders in guinea pig slaughter horror

Lock up your pets, warns shaken British mum

The essential guide to IT transformation

A British mum has warned against the inexorable spread of the false widow spider after the killer arachnid apparently dispatched a trio of her family's guinea pigs to the hereafter.

Michelle Richards, of Hedge End, Hampshire, recounted to the Daily Mail how son Jordan found three of five guinea pigs dead in their hutch, "with six false widow spiders and cobwebs" surrounding the structure.

She said: "Jordan told me they were asleep. He saw mummy upset and I told him what had happened. I am a childminder and we had children over - a lot of kids saw what happened."

She continued: "We don't want this happening to anyone else. We want to make as many people aware of this as possible."

Richards' home "backs onto a primary school", and she now "fears the spiders may have made their way onto its playing field".

However, expert Ian Burgess of the Medical Entomology Centre doesn't reckon the false widows were responsible for the guinea pig slaughter. He told the Mail: "It could only have happened if the guinea pigs attacked the spiders and I cannot imagine a guinea pig attacking anything."

The false widow spider. Pic: ShutterstockThe false widow spider (Steatoda nobilis, pictured right) has spread steadily across mainland Britain since its accidental introduction in crates of fruit from the Canary Islands.

First spotted in Torquay in 1879, it has since scuttled its way along the south coast, and is gradually extending its range northwards.

Experts explained last month to the BBC that Steatoda nobilis is "not usually aggressive towards humans and that being bitten is rare". The Wildlife Trust's Mark Champion noted that in the unlikely event you do get bitten, it'll be "very uncomfortable", but "no stronger than a wasp sting".

While the eight-legged immigrant is not a welcome addition to Blighty's fauna, it has proved extremely friendly towards the press, with horrified mums recounting mass inavasions, shaken dads battling spider pack stalkings, and screaming friends confronting monster arachnids. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?