VIDEO: Want to know if it's a false widow spider? Check its privates
FALSE widow spider sightings keep arriving with the South Wales Evening Post as horror stories continue around the country.
So far, no-one has come forward to say they have been bitten in Wales.
But across the country there have been some frightening stories of people left with nasty looking bites, including Steve Harris, a footballer with Elmore FC in Tiverton, Devon, who will miss several games after doctors had to cut the poison from his body.
Essex decorator Ricki Whitmore was told without surgery his leg would need to be amputated after he was bitten.
The spider is believed to be breeding more speedily in the UK thanks to climatic conditions, causing it to spread rapidly from the south, into Wales and the midlands.
BELOW: False widow captures an earwig. WARNING: Earwig lovers and arachnophobes may find the contents upsetting
A bite from a false widow can cause a fatal allergic reaction, although most people will suffer just localised swelling and pain.
It is the most dangerous of more than 600 species of spider in Britain.
The British Arachnological Society said the false widow - Latin name Steatoda Nobilis - was now ‘extremely abundant’ in some places.
The vast majority of sightings have been in outbuildings, sheds and houses although many have also been spotted in parks and gardens.
A large number of people have been sending in photos to ask if they show one of the arachnids.
But they can be tricky to identify.
North Wales zoo keeper Gavin Owen, who works at Pili Palas in Menai Bridge, on Anglesey, has said it is possible to identify a false widow by markings on its abdomen.
He said it was quite bulbous in appearance, creamy with brown markings. Females were about 9.5mm to 14mm in size.
But Julian Carter, a conservation officer with National Museum Wales, said there were seven different species of false widows and the spiders could only be positively identified by looking at their sex organs.
Experts say that if you are bitten you may experience chest pains, tingly fingers and swelling.
If you have an allergic reaction then you are advised to seek medical help immediately. Otherwise the symptoms will normally ease within three days.
There have been no recorded spider-related deaths in the UK and one expert has described false widow spider bite as no more dangerous than eating a peanut.
But if you want to hunt one down, look in your shed or garage.
Amy Land, however, said: “I found 3 baby ones in my bathroom and wasn't sure if they were the false widow.”
Whereas Joanne Bishop sent in a picture of her suspected false widow and said: “Not sure if this is a false widow or not, but it was certainly a “nasty” looking spider. Crawled out of a gap from our sofa around the beginning of June and my daughter took this photo to put on Instagram.”
If you live in South West Wales and believe you have a picture of a false widow spider, or if you have been bitten by one, please email email@example.com