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18th Jul 2019

Woman in Waterford hospitalised for 6 days following spider bite

Alan Loughnane


A woman in Waterford spent six days in hospital after she was bitten by a False Black Widow spider.

Speaking on Deise Today with Damien Tiernan on WLR FM, Maria Condon explained how she was bitten three times by the spider and that she’d discovered a nest of them in her house.

“I got bit by one on the leg, it actually bit me three times in my house,” she said. “I was in the sitting room and I felt a bite under my jeans and when I pulled up the leg of my trousers I saw a spider run up my leg.

“Then it bit again. I knocked it off my leg but I got three bites from it.

“It burned like hell. It was like boiling water. Within a couple of minutes, big water blisters began forming where I had been bit.”

She said how she went to see a doctor the next day and after taking antibiotics, it as clear that the poison was spreading.

“Staff said it was the worst such bite they’d ever come across from a False Black Widow,” Maria said.

Maria ended up spending six days in hospital before she was able to go home.

The False Black Widow is about the size of a €2 coin and is brown with white markings on its back.

A 2017 study from NUIG said that False Black Widow spider arrived in the UK about 100 years ago and has steadily invaded Ireland over the past 20 years through human transport of goods, a by-product of globalisation.

According to the study, bites from a False Black Widow spider are not fatal with identified symptoms resulting in a large swelling within three minutes of being bitten, sometimes followed by the formation of a dry necrotic wound when the swelling subside, and inflammation for a few days afterwards.