A Peterhead dad has captured one of Britain’s most venomous spiders in his garden shed, the Buchanie can reveal.
Patrick Bracken of Lingbank Terrace discovered the False Widow spider nesting in the roof of his shed on Tuesday, October 29.
He contactedthe Natural History Museum to identify the unusually marked creature.
Experts at the museum confirmed his suspicions and warned him to immediately call his GP and local Enviromental Health office.
The father of two told the Buchanie: “I saw a huge freaky spider which ended up running and tucking itself away in a corner.
“We got it scooped out into a tub. Then I found a male a few days later and sent the photos to the Natural History Museum and they confirmed it was the False Widow spider and told us to get out the house and tell the GP practice to get some antivenom.
“They also said to take it to Enviromental Health which is what we’ve done.”
Mr Bracken, a 38-year-old offshore worker, has not found any other False Widows - known to scientists as Steatoda nobilis - since but felt a responsibility to warn the neighbours.
He said: “The kids come in for their bikes and that’s why I got really concerned because it could be quite serious for kids or for pets or if you have a low immune system. It was a bit scary yeah.”
There has been a recent spate of headline grabbing sightings of False Widow spiders across the UK.
Although not life-threatening, a school in Gloucestershire was forced to close due to an infestation and several people have been hospitalised after being bitten.
However experts have played down fears about the potential dangers of the animal.
False Widows are not usually hostile and are most likely to bite when they become entangled in clothing.
The spider - which prefers warm and dark places - has distinctive cream markings on its bulbous body and is brown with reddish-orange legs.