A GWYNEDD mother-of-four has spoken of her “panic” after she came face-to-face with a venomous spider in her back garden.
Deborah Lloyd, aged 24, of Pentre Helen, Deiniolen, had a fright when she saw a false widow spider on the door of her shed.
She said: “I just noticed something shiny on the shed door and I went to have a look and I saw this spider. It wasn’t small.
“I don’t think I’ll be stepping into the shed any time soon.”
Deborah, who lives with partner Richard Jones, and children, Alaw, aged seven, Gwion, aged five, Owain, aged three and six month-old Llio, knew about the dangers of the much-feared spider after a recent spate of attacks hit the national headlines.
She added: “I’d heard about these spiders and I looked them up more, and then I was more afraid because I have four young children in the house, and one of them is a six-month old baby.
“I know they can’t kill you, but if one of the kids gets a bad reaction, you never know. I’m afraid of spiders anyway, so just the thought of it makes me panic and I can’t get to sleep.”
Gavin Owen, zookeeper at Pili Palas, said: “Because of the warm summer, they’ve breeded so well so there’s more of them around the area this year, and because it’s getting colder outside now, they’ll be coming more into people’s homes seeking warmth.
“They can be a danger but everyone will react differently to a bite. But you do stand more chance of dying from a wasp sting.“
He added: “If you see one, put it in a jar and place the jar outside, far away from the house. Also, wear thick gloves if you try and put the spider in a jar.”
Wolfgang Wuster of Bangor University’s school of biological sciences, said: “They’ve been around the country for something like 140 years.
“There have been no recorded deaths after bites. They’re certainly not the threat to society that we’ve been led to believe recently.”