You are here
Home > UK > Business owner, 44, bitten by false widow spider left with hole in leg

Business owner, 44, bitten by false widow spider left with hole in leg

Father-of-two who was bitten by a false widow spider in his bed is left with hole in his leg the size of a 50p piece

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Damian Ellis from Droylsden, Greater Manchester, bitten by spider as he slept
  • Over the next 24 hours the 44-year-old's leg became sore and started swelling
  • The father-of-two has now issued a warning to others after being left with a scar

By Amie Gordon For Mailonline

Published: 04:35 EDT, 8 October 2018 | Updated: 14:05 EDT, 8 October 2018

A father-of-two has been left with a hole in his leg after he was bitten by a false widow spider while he slept.

Damian Ellis brushed the spider off, mistaking it for a midge after it bit him in his bed in Droylsden, Greater Manchester.

But 24 hours later the 44-year-old businessman's leg had become red and inflamed, and oozing pus from the bite wound.

But 24 hours later the 44-year-old businessman's leg had become red and inflamed, and oozing pus from the bite wound

Damian Ellis brushed the spider off, mistaking it for a midge after it bit him in his bed in Droylsden, Greater Manchester

Mr Ellis has now issued a warning to others to be more wary of the spiders after being left with a scar on his leg.

Although false widows do have a venomous bite, the venom is not particularly potent.

Pain can last between one and 12 hours, and rarely for more than 24 hours although a secondary infection is possible if the wound is not kept clean.

The businessman did not seek medical help but applied antiseptic cream to the infected skin and changing the bandages regularly until it healed.

He said: 'One of my friends looked at it the next day and said it was a spider bite – I just laughed it off.

'But it got more and more inflamed and I had a constant burning feeling in my leg.

'It was just like when you have a very painful blister, you knock the top off it and the air first hits it.

'I Googled my symptoms and saw pictures of false widow spider bites and the redness – and it looked exactly like my leg.'

Mr Ellis has now issued a warning to others to be more wary of the spiders after he was left with a scar on his leg

Mr Ellis has now issued a warning to others to be more wary of the spiders after he was left with a scar on his leg

The businessman did not seek medical help but applied antiseptic cream to the infected skin and changing the bandages regularly until it healed.

He added: 'At first I thought it was a midge bite although it soon started to feel quite sore.

'It must have been in the early hours of the morning while I was in bed that I was bitten as I was fine before I went to bed at 11.30pm.

'The next day it started to become inflamed and there was a red mark which started to travel up my leg.

'As the infection got worse I researched it online and decided to treat it with antiseptic cream and hope for the best.

'I'm one of those people that tend to leave stuff like that until it gets me into trouble.

'A few days into me self-treating it the bite became the size of a 50p piece and round the edges it looked like the infection was eating my flesh as the hole got deeper and deeper.

The businessman did not seek medical help but applied antiseptic cream to the infected skin and changing the bandages regularly until it healed Pain can last between one and 12 hours, and rarely for more than 24 hours although  a secondary infection is possible if the wound is not kept clean

The businessman did not seek medical help but applied antiseptic cream to the infected skin and changing the bandages regularly until it healed

'At that stage I did worry a little bit and start to wonder whether I should go to the doctors as it looked properly infected, but the antiseptic cream started to work and it began to heal over. Two months on it's left a scar on my leg.

'I think I saw the bugger the next morning. It scuttled around and when I got a closer look at it it looked like pictures of false widow spiders I'd seen online.'

He added: 'I never used to be bothered by spiders. Years ago my cousin had a tarantula and I'd happily have it on my shoulder, but I don't think I would do it now.

'Spiders never really bothered me but if I see one now I'll give it a wide berth as I'm not going through that again.

'I'm 44 and up until then I'd never been stung by a wasp, bitten by a dog or anything like that and the only time I get bitten is by a spider in Britain.'

WHAT IS THE FALSE WIDOW SPIDER AND WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET BITTEN

False widow spiders are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns.

Millions of false widows, Britain's most venomous spider, have been found across the UK and the population is believed to be growing.

The species has a brown bulbous abdomen with cream markings that look like a skull. They have long legs and can reach about 15mm in size.

Also known as steatoda nobilis, the spider is frequently confused for the black widow, which has deadly venom.

The false widow was first spotted in the UK in Torquay, Devon, in 1879, and it is understood that it may have made its way to these shores from Madeira or the Canary Islands in a shipment of bananas.

The Natural History Museum says that warmer summers mean the spider is spreading northwards through the UK, having been found mainly in southern England.

False widow spiders are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns

False widow spiders are distinctive for their shiny, black flesh, bulbous bodies, thick legs and skull-like patterns

IF YOU GET BITTEN…

The first thing you should do is wash the area thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection – and don't scratch, as if you break the skin there's more chance for bacteria to get in.

Cover bites with a plaster and apply an antihistamine sting cream to calm any inflammation or itching, says Stuart Hine, from the Natural History Museum's identification and advisory service.

Any redness, pain or swelling should subside after three days.

Be alert to potential signs of infection, such as weeping blisters or painful swelling, that continue to get worse after a few days.

If this happens, seek advice from your GP.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Top