The false widow spider is not native to the UK, however was thought to have been introduced to the UK having traveled in fruit crates coming from the Canary Islands in the late 19th Century. The first reported sighting of a false widow spider in the UK was in Torquay in 1879.
Warmer Westcountry Climate
It is thought that the spiders found it easier to adapt to the slightly warmer westcountry climate, and have therefore been well established in Devon and the rest of the southwest for a long time.
Over time the spiders have adapted to the climate, meaning that they are more able to live in the British weather!
In the past few weeks there have been increased sightings of false widows spiders around the UK, and often a lot further afield than Devon!
There have been a particularly high amount of sightings in Essex, London and the Greater London area. There is also an increase of sightings further north, with some even as far north at Scotland.
Perfect Weather for Breeding
Experts at the Natural History Museum are saying that part of the reason for the increased sightings is an increase in population, likely due to mild winters the past few years.
Conservationists are speculating that a change in climate is causing the spider to move further afield and make new areas of the UK it’s home.
False Widow Spider Sighting Map
For up to date information on where false widow spiders have been seen in the UK this year, please check out our False Widow Spider Sighting Map. This will enable you to see where false widow spiders have recently been seen in the UK and if false widow spiders are currently know to be in your area.
If you have any further information on sightings or would like to contribute to the map, please contact us directly.