The Bristol Funnel Web Spider

Bristol's Poisonous Spiders Are On The Rise!

Funnel Web Spider (Segestria florentina)

segestria florentina funnel web spider bristol
Segestria florentina - Bristol's Funnel Web Spider

Living in Bristol means I have the chance to see the very best of its wildlife and one spider we have seen a lot more of in the last twelve months has been the funnel web spider called Segestria florentina.

This is an aggressive spider, and its numbers surged last year and in September we were inundated with calls about them.

The two images here were taken from two spiders found in my house in one day!

This spider is also referred to as the funnel or tube web spider and sometimes as the cellar spider which is also a common nickname of another common spider we see, the false widow.

It is typically most abundant in southern port towns similar to Bristol, like Plymouth, but is also showing up nationally as it continues to increase its range.

As you can see in the picture, it's a large, robust spider with a body that can be over 20 mm and a fearsome bite. 

bristol tube web spider
We found this tube web spider on our stairs!

Bites from Segestria florentina

The bites from a spider are more unpredictable than a sting (from wasps etc) because the most severe reactions to spider bites cause your tissue cells to die (necrosis).

The most important tip here is not to handle or provoke the spider. If possible coax it into a jar or glass with a lid and pop it outside where it won't cause any further concern.

If you do get bitten by a spider it is important that where safe to do so, you attempt to trap the spider responsible.

Many spider bites turn out to be nothing more than wasp stings, mosquito bites and even horsefly bites.

How to control funnel and tube web spiders

Pesticide control is difficult and only one professional product is available in the UK

The best solution is environmental control - to block up holes and gaps around doors, windows and any other crevices where it might decide to nest.

The tube or funnel web of Segestria florentina

segestria florentina spider web tube
The entrance of a Segestria  Spider.

As you can see in the image, strands of web lead out from the main funnel, like trip wires, ready to ensnare passing prey.

Once the strands are agitated, the spider will rush out and ambush the passing prey, before dragging it back into the funnel to consume it.

Contact our Bristol pest control service.