A builder claims he was tormented with a “lazy finger” after being bitten by “Britain’s most dangerous spider”.
Jason Missey was moving wood in his garden when he felt something like a sting, but “nothing to worry about”.
He said: “We have brakes down here and things like that, so it felt like that. Nothing to worry about.
“At first it looked like a horsefly bite, literally, with a bit of swelling all around.
“And then as it went on it got a little bit worse, and a little bit worse and worse – and then there was swelling, pus and peeling skin.
“I ended up going to the hospital and for six weeks I practically had to pull my finger apart.”
Doctors identified Jason’s injury as a spider bite, and the 50-year-old recalls flicking off a spider at the time of the “sting.”
He believes it was a noble false widow and has photographed a specimen in his garden at home in Broadstairs, Kent.
According to a 2020 paper by Clive Hambler, a zoologist at Oxford University, the species is “widely considered to be the most dangerous spider breed in Britain”.
Cruel pictures and videos of Jason show how the spider’s venom began to attack his finger.
The damage is initially limited to an angry red stain on his finger.
But soon his top layer of skin has disappeared, leaving an open wound in its place, oozing pus.
He said, “To be honest, you have to just let it rot at first,” he said.
“Every two days you could remove the bandage and then you had to remove dead parts yourself.
“It was painful. When it was practically the tendons and the muscles, when you were working with tweezers on parts and pulling on things that weren’t supposed to be pulled, it was very painful.
“I have a high pain threshold, but it was bad; very bad.”
Jason, who runs a construction company with his father, had to spend several weeks doing light work while he waited for his finger to heal.
And although he does not want people to be fundamentally afraid of spiders, people should still get acquainted with the appearance of the noble false widow.
He said, “I don’t want people attacking nature because of a species of spider.”
“Just go online and see what they look like.
“We have a lot down here and I’m always careful now. Now I know what I’m looking for.”
What is a false widow spider?
Although the arachnid’s venom usually has a mild effect on humans, some humans suffer horrific injuries from reacting violently to being pinched.
They have been known to infest sheds and homes, leading to fears that homeowners may unknowingly live with them.
The most common type is the noble bogus widow. It is the largest of the three most common species and reaches a body length between 8.5 and 11 millimeters.
The species is native to the Canary Islands and Madeira, but has gradually spread throughout Europe.