Spiders cause school closure

The Dean Academy in Gloucestershire will be closed all day today, following an outbreak of false widow spiders.

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School to reopen after false widow spider outbreak

A school in the Forest of Dean which was forced to close because of an outbreak of Britain's most venomous spider, will reopen this morning.

The Dean Academy in Lydney, Gloucestershire Credit: ITV News Westcountry

The Dean Academy, shut its doors to pupils while the campus was fumigated following the discovery of the False Widow spider.

There have been no reported deaths from its bite in the UK, but its bite can cause swelling and pain.


Specially trained team deals with spider infestation

A specially trained fumigation team have been at a school in Gloucestershire today because of an infestation of the country's most venomous spider.

The Dean Academy in Lydney was closed to students as experts tried to rid it of the false widow spiders.

The creature's bite is painful and can cause swelling, it is not normally lethal, although some people can have a fatal allergic reaction to the venom, John Bevir reports.


The Gloucester academy closed by spiders

A school in the Forest of Dean is closed for the day because of an infestation of the country's most venomous spider.

The Dean Academy in Lydney, Gloucestershire. Credit: ITV News/John Bevir

The false widow has been discovered around the Dean Academy in Lydney, a pest control company has been called in to fumigate classrooms.

Conservationists believe a change in the climate could be the cause of an increase in sightings of the species.

'Further false widow spiders identified' this afternoon

The Dean Academy in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, has identified a number of false widow spiders in the school's computer block, as well as other areas.

A letter to parents on the school's website confirmed that the school would be closed tomorrow.

Vice principal Craig Burns said the academy had taken immediate pest control advice on discovery of the spiders. The letter posted online today read:

We have identified an issue with false widow spiders in the academy in our ICT block and therefore took immediate advice from pest control.

We therefore made the decision to close the ICT block for the whole of today so that pest control could fumigate the area.

Unfortunately, during this afternoon there have been further false widow spiders identified in other areas of the academy.

Factfile: How to identify a false widow spider

A school in Gloucestershire has been forced to close due to an outbreak of false widow spiders.

ITV News Westcountry has provided some information on how to identify a false widow.

  • False widow spiders have a large body, dark brown in colour, ranging from 7mm up to 14mm
  • The body of the spider has a glossy appearance, with a white pattern on the top
  • This kind of spider can generally be found in dry and undisturbed environments, like sheds and outbuildings
  • They are often active at night, and mainly hidden throughout the day, and there is likely to be more than one living in the same place

Source: Natural History Museum

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