The Area – The past few months have been hard work at Zaankirk at Drills Wittering in the Zaandam. Everything was meticulously painted again and the walls and floors were renovated. RTV-Zaanstreek is also located in the building and when I went to take someone away this week, I saw a spider crawling on the white wall in a hurry. Out of “urgency” I took a (bad) picture of the animal with my mobile. A later study showed that this is not a spider that sits comfortably on your hand.
Written by David Slice
The spider, which was on the wall, belongs to the family of ball spiders, due to its (usually) bullet-like abdomen. The English name is “False Widow”, because it is somewhat similar to the fearsome black widow, a very poisonous spider that does not / rarely happens to us, but occasionally on its backs from far away. Now all spiders have venom glands to paralyze/kill their prey, but they are usually harmless to humans. However, some bites can be (very) painful for people. But this species can be much more annoying, but it only bites if it feels threatened.
For years, I’ve also had “steatoda”, the official Dutch name for the spider, as a guest in the house. It remains in the room where the water meter is located. The spider has been growing in Holland in recent decades and is found on many continents, including Australia. Many sting incidents are known and there are also stings being scientifically investigated. The consequences of a bite cannot be “soft”. For example, a 22-year-old woman who was bitten developed dizziness, vomiting, and severe pain. In cases of other bites, arrhythmia, muscle spasms, fever and difficulty breathing were noted. But it varies from person to person.
Fortunately, there is an antivenom available in Australia. It is obtained from a horse that has become immune to spider venom. This story is not intended to scare the reader, but it is intended. All spiders are useful and have their place in nature, including the big soda. But a little respect for this eight-legged friend is in order!
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