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24 September 2014

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You are in: Essex > Discover Essex > Nature > Spiders on the increase?

Wasp Spider (c Howard Vaughan)

Wasp Spider (c Howard Vaughan)

Spiders on the increase?

Are there more spiders around than normal? Maybe it's the warm weather? Iain Newby from the Dangerous Wild Animals Rescue Facility in Great Wakering thinks he knows why.

If spiders make your toes curl up and send you screaming from the room they have decided to weave their web in, then you may not be enjoying the more frequent visits, the eight legged creatures are currently paying people.

One would hardly think of Essex as the centre of spider activity, but there are 650 different species of them in the UK according to the British Arachnological Society.

Iain Newby runs the Dangerous Wild Animals Rescue Facility in Great Wakering, and he says that people who have noticed more spiders around, are not wrong.

BBC Essex's John Hayes with spider and Iain Newby

Iain Newby visits BBC Essex with his friend!

We have had a lot of warm weather this year, and it is when our climate is a lot milder that you tend to see spiders with different colours, or different shapes, that you haven't noticed before. 

He says they have always been there, but because there were fewer in the cooler weather, they aren't noticed so much.

Fear not, the spiders you get in Essex aren't poisonous, but Iain thinks there is a possibility that climate change could lead to foreign spiders that have accidentally been imported or escaped, living in the UK, and surviving because our weather is warmer.

Iain has quite a few different types of the arachnids and he rescues spiders because nobody else wants them.  After all, as he says, they are still animals and they need looking after.

You may disagree in favour of trapping one under a cup and throwing it out the window, but you can find out more about what Iain thinks by listening to what happened when he visited BBC Essex, and talked to Breakfast presenter John Hayes about the rise of the spider!

last updated: 23/07/2008 at 09:20
created: 13/09/2006

Have Your Say

I found a spider not to long ago in my conservatory hiding on a plastic plant, and some plastic leaves. It had a red head or front part of the body, a black rear part of the body which was a little bit bigger and also which had a white or a creamy coloured kind of skull shape on the back, its total diameter was between 1 1/2 and 2 inches including legs. would really like to know who i should have reported it to, i know im not the only one in Bognor Regis to find one of these, and i know they are sometimes found again, i believe one of my freinds has a picture of one we found. ive looked through the BBC website for pictures of anything to match this description but couldnt find anything, would be nice to know what they are.

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