How to spot the 14 biting spiders that live in the UK – are they dangerous?

This might not come as a surprise as the same thing happens every year, but you can be in denial.

It’s spider mating season, the time of the spider house invasion – as you want to call it.

In other words – an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.

Each fall, eight-legged creatures leave their webs for the dry, cozy conditions of British homes.

It is the ideal place to mate.

There are over 650 different species of spiders in the UK, but only a handful of them can cause harm to humans.

Here are the spiders you might spot around your house

1. False widow



The false widow spider has started to spread across the UK

Are they dangerous? It is the most poisonous spider in the UK.

A bite can cause pain, swelling, numbness, discomfort, burning, chest pain, and nausea.

No death has been reported in the UK, but severe allergic reactions can lead to hospitalization.

How to spot them: They are around 10mm in length, are dark brown, and have a bulbous body.

2. The Web Spider tube



Spider web tube
Tube web spiders get their name from the shape of the web they make

Are they dangerous? They can be quite aggressive and are more likely to bite than other species.

A bite can be painful, similar to a bee sting, but it is not fatal.

May cause discomfort for about 5-6 hours.

How to spot them: They produce a tube-like web and can grow to around 15-20mm.

The black spider is one of the largest in Britain.

3. The woodlouse spider



The woodlouse spider
Woodlouse spider bites can be itchy

Are they dangerous? You have to come in very close contact with one of them for them to want to bite you.

The bites are not dangerous but can be itchy.

How to spot them: The spider is colorful, has three pairs of eyes, a dark red body, and a yellow abdomen.

Males can grow up to 15mm, but females can be twice that size.

4. The cardinal spider



Cardinal spider, Tegenaria parietina, in front of white background
The Cardinal spider is the biggest spider you’ll see around your house

Are they dangerous? Although technically poisonous, its bites are rare and quite painless.

How to spot them: One of the largest spiders in the UK, it can measure up to 12cm.

5. The Money Spider



Money Spider UK
The Money Spider is one of the smallest species of spiders

Are they dangerous? Their bites rarely penetrate human skin, but instead they feast on insects.

How to spot them: They are the smallest species of spiders in the UK, measuring less than 5mm.

They usually have a gray or black body and form a small sheet of canvas under which they sit.

6. The Walnut Orbweaver Spider



Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider
The walnut orb-weaver spider is one of the UK’s most poisonous spiders

Are they dangerous? It is one of the most poisonous spiders in the UK, just behind the false widow.

They are not fatal, but the bites are very unpleasant and can cause burning, swelling and numbness.

How to spot them: Males can grow to 8mm and females can be double that size.

7. The black lace weaver

Are they dangerous? Black Lace Weaver spiders are quite poisonous.

One bite will cause pain, about three days of swelling and nausea.

How to spot them: They are around 11-15mm in length and are almost black.

8. The wasp spider



Wasp spider
The bite of the Wasp Spider is quite painful

Are they dangerous? They can be quite angry, but their bite is not fatal.

But oddly enough, the pain from the bite can spread to the groin.

How to spot them: The Wasp spider is black, yellow, and white with a striped pattern.

Females can reach 15mm and males up to 5mm. 9.

9. The cross spider



Cross spider
The Cross Spider only bites when threatened

Are they dangerous? They only bite when threatened, but their bites cause pain and inflammation for about two to three days.

How to spot them: Males can measure 5 to 12 mm and females a little larger, 6 to 20 mm.

10. The Closet Spider



Closet spider
The closet spider can often be mistaken for a fake widow spider

Are they dangerous? The closet spider can bite, but without lasting effects.

Symptoms may last for a few days and include blisters, muscle spasms, pain, or fever.

How to spot them: The closet spider is often confused with a fake widow because of its shape and color.

They usually grow to around 10mm and are very colorful from brown to black and purple.

11. The giant house spider



Millions of spiders will invade UK homes this fall
Giant spiders can be found indoors during fall

Are they dangerous? They possess powerful venom, but are generally not a threat to humans.

How to spot them: Its massive body can reach 1.9 cm and its leg length is 4.5 cm. It is one of the fastest spiders in the UK and can run up to half a meter per second.

The giant house spider is brown and is usually 120mm tall.

12. Daddy Long Legs Spider / Cave Spider



Long legged daddy spider
Daddy’s long-legged spiders have small gray bodies and long, slender legs

Are they dangerous? Urban legend says that daddy’s long legs are deadly, and their venom could kill a human if their fangs could pierce the skin.

But research has found it to be highly toxic to insects, not humans.

Daddy Long Legs venom may cause a brief stinging sensation, if at all.

How to spot them: They can be spotted by its small gray body and long, slender appearance.

Its body is usually less than 10mm, but the legs can reach 7cm.

13. The spider in lace web



Lace web spider
Lace webbed spiders are usually around 20mm tall

Are they dangerous? Bites can be relatively painful, and symptoms include localized swelling.

It may take a few hours.

How to spot them: The lace webbed spider is brown with yellow markings and grows to around 20mm.

14. The Zebra Back Spider / Zebra jumping spider



Zebra Jumping Spider - Salticus Scenicus - on white background
Zebra jumping spider is known for its black and white markings

Are they dangerous? They bite, but their venom is not considered medically threatening.

How to spot them: They can easily be spotted by their black and white markings on its back and legs.

He also has eight eyes and is known for his jerky “stop, start” movement.

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