- Woman woken at night by a bite on her thigh which left her in pain
- She later caught a spider she believes attacked her and killed it
- The bite later became swollen and was filled with a yellow pus
- She feared she’d lose her leg after pain failed to go away for a month
· Experts say she had a reaction to the venom or the bite became infected
A mother-of-three feared she might lose a leg after being bitten by a spider which attacked her in bed.Lisa Taylor, 35, woke up in agony after the creature bit her on the thigh while she was asleep at her home in Bestwood, Nottinghamshire.She later caught the spider, which experts believe to be a ‘rabbit hutch’ spider, a species of the ‘false widow’ arachnids behind a rise in reported bites in Britain.Ms Taylor went to her GP after the attack on October 11 and was told the wound had become infected and caused her leg to swell to almost twice its normal size.She said: ‘I could have lost a leg because I could not walk on it and it swelled to a horrible size. it was petrifying thinking about it.’But at least it happened to me and not one of the kids, because the poison would have affected them even more, so I dread to think what would have happened to them. It’s just horrible.’I was asleep when it bit me. When I woke up there was a huge blister, and then I saw a spider hanging from the ceiling.’Every time the blister burst it filled back up again with green pus and it is really painful.
I think the poison has gone now but the bite has turned a purple black colour.’I am going to have to go and see the doctor again because it happened over a month ago and it is still hurting.’Even though I have a phobia of spiders I knew it was important to identify the species so I managed to get the spider into a plastic pot and get it into a sink and filmed it on my phone before sending it to a spider expert.’She added: ‘Later in the day when I squashed it there was far more blood than when you squash a normal spider, it was disgusting.’There are three species of spider known as ‘false widows’;
Steatoda bipunctata, like that which bit Ms Taylor, Steatoda grossa, which looks most like the notorious black widow, and Steatoda nobilis, the species most known to bite.Dr Christopher Terrell-Nield, an entomologist at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘The blister is a reaction in the body, so it may be that she has had a reaction or the bite has got infected.’Not many spiders can pierce human skin.
They bite their prey and then will cover it in silk to eat it.’Obviously, a spider will not try to eat a human so it is unlikely to bite unless disturbed. They live in dark crevices so people often get bitten when cleaning. ‘Grandmother Pat Gough-Irwin, from Hampshire fell ill after being bitten on the finger by a false widow spider a month ago.She had to have the end of the finger amputated after weeks of ‘absolute agony’ but the 60-year-old’s health deteriorated further and she died in hospital last week.It is unclear whether the spider bite directly led to Mrs Gough-Irwin’s death, but, if proved, she will have been the first person to have died in Britain as a result of a spider bite