The frightening Redback Spider has now had numerous sightings in the UK. For those of you who are not familiar with the Redback Spider it is related to the venomous Black Widow Spider and looks very similar. It lives mainly in Australia where it is believed to be responsible for 14 fatalities, however most victims of the redback bight can expect to experience a great deal of pain and swelling, chest pains fever and breathing difficulties.They also have to treated with anti-venom.
Both cargo imports and even holidaymakers are the most likely accidental causes of its arrival on uk shores.
Richard Mosely of the British Pest Control Association is quoted as saying: 'These insects move with trade and transport. As the world becomes theoretically a smaller place and people go on more unusual holidays and we bring in commodities from unusual places, the spread increases. These insects are on the move now.'
Entomologist Dr George McGavin is also quoted as saying: 'It is very difficult to keep small things out of the country - insects will always come in.
'Whether or not they can breed in the wild is a different thing, but we have lots of heated homes that are warm through the year with plenty of food available.
'Some species can survive in them and breed in them. Homes are a very big habitat now.'
Just for the record female redbacks have a body length of about a centimetre while the male is smaller, being only 3 to 4 millimetres long.