Spider tested

ENVIRONMENTAL health experts were today hoping to identify a strange spider found on a washing line - amid fears it could be one of a batch of deadly insects found at Felixstowe port.

ENVIRONMENTAL health experts were today hoping to identify a strange spider found on a washing line - amid fears it could be one of a batch of deadly insects found at Felixstowe port.

Peter and Gaynor Ransome found the spider at their home in Beach Station Road, just 100 yards from where killer red-back spiders from Australia were discovered in a container.

They captured the creature and an egg sac found on a pillow case next to it.

“We have never seen a spider like that before and it just made us very worried, especially after the incident down the road when the red-backs were found,” said Mr Ransome, bakery manager at the Baker's Oven in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.


You may also want to watch:


“It fitted the description given of the male of the species and we decided to capture it to see if it could be identified.

“If it is one of the red-backs it is quite worrying and frightening to think that any of them escaped into the environment.”

Most Read

Officials from Suffolk Coastal council have visited the couple's home to see the spider.

A council spokesman said photos had been taken of the insect and it was hoped to confirm today what type of spider it is.

“Once we have properly identified the type of spider we will be able to advise what to do with it. One of our team has spoken to Mr Ransome,” he said.

The red-back spiders were found by workers at Cargo Secure in Walton Avenue last month. A cargo of VW camper vans from Adelaide was infested with live and dead spiders, webs, nests and eggs.

Suffolk Coastal officials gave the company advice on where to find bite anti-venom and how to dispose of the spiders.

WEBLINKS: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

www.defra.co.uk

What do you think should be done to deal with insects and animals arriving in goods? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FACTFILE: Red-back spiders

Only the bite of the female red-back is dangerous.

Since they rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web.

The venom acts directly on the nerves. Common early symptoms are pain, sweating, muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting.

Females are black with an obvious orange to red stripe on the upper body, which is about one centimetre long. Males are 4 mm long, light brown with some white markings and the red markings less distinct.

Source: www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/redback

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter