Leicester is the SPIDER capital of the UK

Leicester is the SPIDER capital of the UK: City is home to more species of arachnids than anywhere else in the UK, study finds

  • Study used data from the National Biodiversity Network to find spider species
  • There are some 650 species of spiders in the UK, 12 are venomous to humans 
  • Homes in the city of Leicester are most in danger of being invaded by spiders
  • Have spiders been invading your home? Email [email protected] 

Leicester has been named as home to the most species of spiders in Britain, new research has found.  

A study of where the arachnids live found that the East Midlands city had more different species of spiders lurking around than anywhere else in the UK.

Using data from The National Biodiversity Network (NBN), the UK’s largest collection of ‘biodiversity information’, with 235million wildlife records, the study found that Leicester was home to the most spiders out of the UK’s 69 cities.

Leicester has been named as home to the most species of spiders in Britain, new research has found. This man in Scotland found this large spider in his laundry basket before it managed to crawl onto his back last year

Using data from The National Biodiversity Network (NBN), the UK’s largest collection of ‘biodiversity information’, with 235million wildlife records, the study found that Leicester was home to the most spiders out of the UK’s 69 cities.  Pictured: a large spider on a shower curtain in the New Forest, Hampshire, last year

This spider with its two front legs oustretched was found by an unhappy resident in Bristol last year

There are a whopping 650 species of spiders in the UK, 12 of which have enough venom to harm humans, like the cellar spider, the woodlouse spider and the false widow spider.

The research by SellHouseFast.uk found that Leicester had the most species with 228, while St Davids in Wales came second with 209. Swansea followed closely behind with 196 and the City of Westminster in London was fourth with 183. 

London itself was next with 178, closely followed by Norwich with 168, Canterbury with 162 and St Asaph in Wales with 142. 

What are the top 10 cities in Britain with the most species of spiders? 

1) Leicester – 228

2) St Davids, Wales – 209

3 ) Swansea – 196

4) City of Westminster, London – 183

5) London – 178

6) Norwich – 168

7) Canterbury – 162

8) St Asaph, Wales – 142

9) Chester – 118

10) Gloucester – 108

With some 118 species, Chester came in ninth and with a low of 108 species, Gloucester was the bottom of the list. 

Leicester resident Karen Conway, 36, said she was horrified that her city was the spider capital of Britain.

The stay-at-home mother of two said: ‘I have to get my husband to get even the smallest spider out of the bath, and when I see a big one I just leave the house and call him up to come and deal with it.

‘I only thought there were a few species of spider, not hundreds. It’s as good a reason as any to move somewhere else as far as I’m concerned.’

A spokesman for SellHouseFast.uk said: ‘It’s that time of year again. A time when eight-legged creatures venture into our homes seeking out warm and dry places to survive.

‘We wanted to look into which part of the UK is most likely to be hit the hardest by an invasion of spiders, and found it was Leicester.

‘Homes in the city of Leicester are most in danger of being invaded by spiders according to our research, with 228 different species of spiders recorded.’ 

A study carried out in 2018 showed 7.35pm was the most active time for spiders during their mating season. 

There was also a peak in sightings between 6am and 8am, which suggests arachnids were lurking down kitchen and bathroom plugholes overnight. 

Professor Adam Hart from the University of Gloucester last year told the Telegraph that while keeping windows and doors closed may help to keep outdoor spiders out, house spiders are often already hiding somewhere inside.

He added that while there’s ‘not much you can do’ in the fight against house spiders, they are attracted to piles of mess, so keeping clothes and other junk off the floor is important. 

Another woman found this large spider in her house and said she ‘didn’t know spiders like this existed in England’ 

Removing their webs and filling gaps in walls and surfaces with filler can also reduce the number of places they can live in.   

Of the 12 species of spider which can harm humans, false widows are the main offenders and most dangerous.

However, the most common species is the common house spider, which doesn’t pose any threat to humans at all.  

Last year, a father-of-three from Southampton was left unable to work after being bitten five times by a false widow.  

Lewis Pearce suffered five bites while he was asleep and said he was left in severe pain, unable to work, shower, or walk.

Despite asking his local council to remove the arachnids from Canberra Towers in Southampton, Hampshire, he claims he was told that they ‘don’t deal with spiders’.

The 26-year-old says he is now ‘scared’ for the safety of his three children, Lacey, five, Freddie, three, – who was also bitten – and seven-month-old Bethany. 

His wife Nadine, 26, said: ‘It petrifies me. If my children are bitten like he has been, they won’t stand a chance. When people are being bitten alive, how are we meant to pay rent? 

‘I’m meant to be here looking after my children and Lewis can’t work. It feels like we are stuck in a dark tunnel.’

A Southampton City Council spokesman said: ‘We take all complaints of this nature seriously. 

‘While we haven’t been notified of any other households having this issue, we will investigate and advise tenants accordingly.’   

Ten most common spiders found in British homes  

1) Giant House Spider 

Size: Up to 12cm wide

Habitat: Most commonly found in sheds and gardens.

Appearance: Typically dark orange, brown or beige.

Doe they bite? They do possess potent venom and can bite, but don’t usually pose a threat to humans.

The giant house spider is most commonly found in sheds and gardens and is typically dark orange, brown or beige

2) Zebra Jumping Spider

Size: Up to 8mm

Appearance: Distinctive white and black markings.

Habitat: Found on external walls, as well as indoors, where they will enter through open doors and windows.

Do they bite? Yes, but like most spiders are more likely to run away from larger prey.

The zebra jumping spider is found on external walls, as well as indoors, where they will enter through open doors and windows

3) Cupboard Spider

Size: Up to 10mm

Appearance: Can vary slightly from dark purple, to brown to black.

Habitat: As the name suggests, usually found in cupboards inside out buildings and houses.

Do they bite? Yes, but they are not usually aggressive and the bites themselves have minor symptoms.

As the name suggests, cupboard spiders are usually found in cupboards inside out buildings and houses. They do bite but the bites themselves have minor symptoms

4) Daddy Long Legs 

Size: Do vary in size, but can reach up to 45mm

Habitat: Lives in a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, caves, and wetlands.

Appearance: Bodies are round or oval in shape, and of course have trademark long legs.

Do they bite? Rumoured to be the most venomous invertebrates in our houses, there are actually no cases of the spider biting a human and causing long-lasting damage.

The Daddy Long Legs is rumoured to be the most venomous invertebrates in our houses

5) Money Spider

Size: Smallest in the UK growing no more than 5mm

Appearance: In most cases they have grey or black bodies, although some do have distinctive markings.

Habitat: Usually found in low growing vegetation and piles of leaves.

Do they bite? These spiders are considered so harmless to humans it is believed if such a spider is seen running on you, it will bring with it financial fortune. We’ll let you decide if that’s good luck…

The money spider is usually found in low growing vegetation and piles of leaves and are considered so harmless to humans

6) Lace Web Spider

Size: Up to 12mm

Habitat: Common and widespread throughout the UK, although less so in the far north. Usually found on outdoor walls and fencing.

Appearance: Brown with yellow markings in the abdomen.

Do they bite? Yes, bites are reported to be painful but symptoms usually ease off after 12 hours.

Lace web spiders are common and widespread throughout the UK, although less so in the far north. They are usually found on outdoor walls and fencing

7) Missing Sector Orb

Size: Up to 7mm

Appearance: A silver-grey coloured abdomen with a brown oak leaf pattern on the back.

Habitat: Windowsills.

Do they bite? No, it isn’t usually harmful to humans.

False widow spiders love conservatories, window frames, porches, lofts and garages, and tend to live beneath kitchen appliances and cupboards

8) False Widow Spider

Size: 20mm

Appearance: Dark brown with a bulbous abdomen.

Habitat: They love conservatories, window frames, porches, lofts and garages, and tend to live beneath kitchen appliances and cupboards.

Do they bite? Often referred to as ‘ Britain’s most venomous spider’, female False Widow Spiders are known to have bitten humans, although they are not usually aggressive and attacks are rare.

9) Cardinal Spider

Size: Largest spider in the UK, growing up to 14cm

Appearance: Reddish brown, but young spiders can be much paler up to their last moult.

Habitat: Lives mostly in buildings or walls.

Do they bite? Bites are rare, and painless. Legend has it that Cardinal Thomas Woolsey was terrified by this species at Hampton Court back in the 16th century.

Cardinal spiders are reddish brown, but young spiders can be much paler up to their last moult

10) Tube Web Spiders 

Size: Up to 23mm

Appearance: Has six eyes arranged in three groups of two, with an iridescent green jaw.

Habitat: Under stones or logs, and in holes in walls, trees and wooden fences

Does it bite? Yes, this spider has a painful bite, with a sensation lasting several hours. 

Source: PA

The tube web spider has six eyes arranged in three groups of two, with an iridescent green jaw. This spider has a painful bite, with a sensation lasting several hours

Source: Read Full Article