With climate change a constant topic of debate, it is no wonder it is affecting not just weather patterns but also the temperament of species. In 1879 a handful of False Widow Spiders were brought over from the Canary Islands supposedly in fruits to Torquay and the South West Coast.
Conservationists believe that due to the warm weather in recent years, which is a result of global warming and climate change, this breed of spider has evolved and spread. There are now over 10 million of these spiders in Britain alone. Known as “Britain’s most venomous spider”, they are a brownish colour with a cream skull pattern on its bulbous abdomen has been sited across the whole of the South of England with several sightings among the Kent and South West London area. The warm weather has meant that these spiders have stayed around for longer, however, the concern is that if we see a cold spout of weather then these venomous spiders will seek the comfort of our homes.
Stuart Hine, the manager of the Identification and Advisory Service at the Natural History Museum says the typical habitable place for these spiders is on external walls of buildings and sheds, although “they appear to have a distinctive preference for South facing walls and love conservatories and toilet blocks.” (Natural History Museum 2013)
Dr Brandon Barton told The Ecologist “species are certainly adapting to the climate change earth has experienced during the past century.” (The Ecologist 2012)
This may change your mind about turning the heating up this winter, instead look at heat saving tips via Energy Switcheroo, just so your home is not inviting for eight legged friends.