Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


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‘UK’s most dangerous spider bit me – my finger rotted away and pain was 11/10’

2 min read

A man was left with rotting flesh after being bitten by Britain’s most dangerous spider.

Jason Missey, 50, was pottering about his garden in Broadstairs, Kent, when he initially got a sting. Around the same time he recalls flicking a spider away.

At first he thought it was "nothing you’d worry about", saying: "It looked literally like a horse-fly bite to start with."

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However, soon his finger started swelling. Then the pain got worse. Pus was spewing out and his skin was "coming off".

Jason said: "I ended up going to hospital, and over six weeks I had to pull my finger apart basically."

Doctors identified it as a spider bite and Jason believes the critter responsible was a noble false widow after photographing a specimen in his garden.

According to Clive Hambler, an Oxford University zoologist, the species is "widely regarded as the most dangerous spider breeding in Britain".

Jason also took pictures of how his wound progressed over time, showing how the spider's venom slowly started eating away at his flesh.

What was at first just an angry red spot soon turned disgusting. On a scale of one to 10, Jason described the pain as 11.

"You have to just let it rot away to start with to be honest," he said.

"Every two days you could take the dressing off, and then you had to pull dead parts off by yourself.

"It was painful. When it was down to virtually the tendons and the muscle, when you’ve got tweezers on bits, pulling things that aren’t supposed to be pulled, it was very painful.

"I’ve got a big pain threshold but it was bad – very bad."

Jason doesn’t want people to be scared of spiders on the whole but urged us all to familiarise ourselves with what false widows look like.

He said: "I don’t want people attacking nature because of one type of spider.

"Just go online and look at what they look like.

"We have loads down here and I’m always wary now. I now know what I’m looking for."

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