A DAD was left unable to walk for two months as he and his son were ravaged by venomous false widow spiders.
Lewis Pearce, 26, was bitten five times, and his three-year-old son Freddie was also bitten as they slept in their Southampton home in July.
Lewis has been in severe pain since, as he can’t even work or shower.
And he is fearing for the safety of his young children, five- year-old Lacey, three year old Freddie – who was also bitten – and seven-month-old Bethany.
Mr Pearce said: “I can’t walk as it’s very difficult and I haven’t been able to shower properly for over a month as I can’t get the dressing wet.
“The bites are painful and now I’m scared for my children, especially for my seven-month-old baby who sleeps in the same room as me – and during the night is when I’m usually bitten.”
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?
FALSE WIDOW SPIDERS
The false widow spider, also known as the Steatoda Nobilis, is believed to have travelled to Britain on fruit crates from teh Canary Islands in the 1800s.
The spider, commonly found in South America, can grow up to 14mm in size.
The spider is nocturnal and will normally spend the day sleeping inside a crack or hole close to its web.
False widows like dry, warm environments where they will be unlikely to be disturbed. This is often what brings them into people’s homes.
The spiders are most commonly seen in the south of the country, but reported sightings suggest they are moving northwards.
“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.”
Another resident at the block – who asked not to be named – said: “This isn’t a home for my daughter.
“There are three or four spiders on every single level.”
Mr Pearce said he asked the council to remove the spiders from their estate, Canberra Towers, and he claims they told him they “don’t deal with spiders”.
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A spokesperson for Southampton City Council 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.”
Recent reports have suggested that incidents of False Widow bites are likely to increase, as wet weather has forced the bugs inside and into people’s homes.
Dave Rumble, an adviser from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: “False Widow spiders are here to stay since they were first noticed 10 to 20 years ago.”
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