WHEN the owner of The Corner Deli in Porthleven woke up in bed after he felt a something bite him, little did he realise he'd end up at the hospital a few hours later.

Finding a dead spider by the side of his bed, Stuart Coleman, who runs the deli in Porthleven, but lives in Long Rock, feared he may have been bitten by the notorious false widow spider.

And, as it became more and more painful he posted a picture of the offending arachnid on the Porthleven Facebook page.

"So this little s**t bit/stung me last night in my bed," he said. "It got me on my hand and it’s excruciatingly painful. Currently sat with frozen peas on it which seems to help the pain. If anyone has any ideas as to what kind of spider it is please as share with me. My thoughts was it’s a false widow."

The spider that bit Mr Coleman was accidentally killed. Picture Stuart Coleman

The spider that bit Mr Coleman was accidentally killed. Picture Stuart Coleman

Immediately he was inundated with replies from people who had also been bitten by the offending arachnid.

Yvonne Chubb shared a horrific story with a picture of her horribly scarred arm.

Another woman said she was bitten and the swelling was so bad she ended up having to have her wedding ring cut off.

Stuart owns the Corner Deli in Porthleven. Picture Corner Deli/Facebook

Stuart owns the Corner Deli in Porthleven. Picture Corner Deli/Facebook

Mr Coleman told the Packet that the pain became so bad that ended up dialling 111 who told him to get himself to hospital.

"In the early hours of Wednesday morning I awoke to a strange sensation in my hand," he said. "Within 30 minutes or so the pain started in my hand so I went to the bathroom to have a look in the light. .

"My wife awoke and I said to her I think something has bitten or stung me. There was no visible sign of the bite just pain. My wife said have you looked in the bedroom which I hadn’t so she put the light on to find the dead spider on the floor at the side of the bed.

"I had heard of spiders that bite in this country but never thought it would happen to me. During Wednesday daytime the pain was very intense so I took pain relief, antihistamine and put a bag of frozen peas on my hand which helped but thought it better to get medical advice so I dialled 111 who eventually sent me to Royal Cornwall Hospital.

"They told me to carry on with regular pain relief,antihistamine and cold compress. They didn’t need to give me antibiotics as it wasn’t infected which they said does happen and to keep an eye on the redness on my hand and if it spreads to go back to the hospital. Today being Thursday the pain has subsided a lot but still going up my arm slightly. I have no visible mark on my hand like some of the pictures I have seen but my skin feels really tender to touch."


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A new study, published in the international medical journal Clinical Toxicology, this week shows spider bites from noble false widows can be so severe that it requires hospital treatment.

Originating from Madeira and the Canary Islands, the noble false widow spider Steatoda nobilis, now has the potential to become one of the world’s most invasive species of spider.

It was first documented in Britain over 140 years ago, but in recent decades the species has suddenly increased in numbers, significantly expanding its range and density. The reasons behind this sudden expansion are not clear.

Scientists have ruled out climate change as the likely cause but have suggested that a new genetic mutation within the species may have made noble false widows more adaptable to new environments.