Feeds

False widow spiders in guinea pig slaughter horror

Lock up your pets, warns shaken British mum

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.