Mother finds flesh-eating spider in bed

A mother in Northampton has escaped harm after she found a flesh-eating spider in her bed.

Donna Bradbury, who suffers from arachnophobia, spotted the poisonous false widow spider on her pillow, but managed to jump out of bed before being bitten.

Donna Bradbury captured the spider Credit: News Team International

The 31-year-old said:

It is lucky I spotted it when I did.

Sometimes my youngest, who is 19 months old, comes in the bed and sleeps with me.

I am guessing it came in through the window which I had left slightly open as it had been hot in the night.

I caught it myself, I was not leaving it in the room.

And I did not want to try to swat it because I did not know where it would end up.

I saw a story not that long ago about the effects a bite had on a man who got bitten by a false widow, and I was seconds away from suffering the same fate.

So when I go to bed now I do tend to look over the duvet closely, and I do not leave the window open at night now.

The false widow spider up close Credit: News Team International

False widow spiders can cause serious injuries if they manage to bite through the skin. The venom is highly poisonous, and will eat through flesh if not removed. A number of people in Britain have also reportedly been bitten by the same species of spider this year.

The spider, which is a cousin of the black widow spider, first came to the country 100 years ago, in crates of fruit from the Canary Islands.

The Insect Information Service at the Natural History Museum receives news of about 10 spider bite cases each year, although no-one in the UK has ever died as the result of a bite.