Radio Sandwell Miscellanea

Family living in fear after invasion of aggressive spiders

2014-09-21 17:04:33

A young family are living in constant fear and could be driven from their home - because of an invasion of monster venomous spiders which attack humans instead of running away.

Liam Forrester, 24, has already been bitten by one of the ultra-aggressive hobo spiders - and has been left with a deep, infected wound that could take three months to heal.

His partner, 27-year-old Kirsty Garland, has trapped and killed around 30 of the beasts, and the couple are frightened that one of their three young children will be their next victim.

Under siege: Liam Forrester and Kirsty Garland have had their home invaded by giant, venomous hobo spiders, and fear they may have to leave to protect their three young children

The spiders' attack on the couple's Stockwood, Bristol home started when Ms Garland opened the attic door around two weeks ago - and a large family of them scuttled out.

Despite Ms Garland's efforts, more and more of the monsters - which have five-inch long hairy legs - keep appearing in their home.

The full-time mother, who has a six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, said: 'They're like normal spiders on steroids - I hate them.

Fearsome: The spiders have five-inch long hairy legs and their venom causes the skin around the bite to die

Aggro arachnids: Instead of running away like most spiders, these beasts rear up and attack humans

'We opened the attic door and a few of them came out so now we are scared to go up there again.

'They are horrible, vile things. I found one in the bath last week, and when I put a pint glass over it, it's long legs just filled up the whole glass.

'They don't seem to be scared to run at us either, they run towards us and seem very aggressive.

'When you corner them they rear up their legs. Their bodies are pretty much normal size but it's the legs - the front legs are the size of your hand.'

Ms Garland, whose partner also has a three-year-old son, added: 'If we can't get rid of them I just want to move because we've got three children and I don't want them to be bitten.'

Venom victim: Mr Forrester was bitten and doctors have told him that it may take three months to heal

The spider venom causes the skin around the bite to die - a process known as necrosis which can need surgical treatment - while victims have also reported severe headaches, nausea, vision problems and memory loss.

'The bite on my partner's arm is awful. He didn't feel it at first but the venom started to spread and it has left a crater where the skin has died,' Ms Garland said.

'We are all on edge at the moment, it's terrible.

'This is the first year we've ever seen them as big as this, and had so many.'

Hobo spiders - or Tegenaria agrestis - look like common house spiders, but are bigger, with thick, hairy legs.

National invasion: The warmer weather means this year has been a bumper one for spiders, and with temperatures set to drop in the coming weeks, they could be coming to homes across the country

They are native to Europe but rarely come into contact with humans. They make funnel-shaped webs of silk sheeting and lie in wait at the small end for their prey.

While most spiders scuttle away when approached by humans, these run towards people and have a potent bite.

Experts have warned that it could be a bumper year for spiders because of the warm weather, and with the temperature set to fall in the coming weeks, the bigger-than-ever arachnids could be invading homes all over the country.

Spider expert Adam Hart, of Gloucestershire University, said there was an increase in bigger spiders this year but urged the public to remain calm.

He said: 'The hobo spider is a relative of the common house spider. 'Most bites become nasty because they are not cared for properly and get infected, not because of spider venom.

'If a bite is festering, the wound is going off and you need to seek medical attention.' He added: 'There are a lot of large spiders around this year.

'I have had four or five in my own house in the last few weeks, and we've had a bit of a spider frenzy this week.

'If you're in an area where spiders are moving through, you will see a lot around the house.'


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