AS temperature slowly drop across the UK, you might have noticed a few more spiders lurking in your home.
Images on social media show many eight-legged friends pitching up in bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms across the country.
Most of the time, they are just as afraid of you, as you are of them.
But as more and more of them make their way into our cosy homes to get out of the cold and breed, experts have issued a bite warning.
Medics at St John Ambulance explained that while spider bite reactions are typically mild and can usually be managed at home, in recent years there has been a rise in False Widow spiders.
The creepies can bite, and while they aren't particularly venomous, its bite can feel like a wasp sting.
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In rare cases, bites can be severe and can cause the sufferer intense swelling and irritation.
For some, this can also result in an allergic reaction, which can develop in seconds and in serious cases, can be fatal.
Paramedic and Head of Clinical Operations at St John Ambulance, Steve Hatton, is urging people with known allergies to bites and stings, to be prepared.
The guru said that you should ensure you have a first aid kit stocked with an epi-pen if you have been prescribed one and antihistamines.
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He said: "Essentially, for most, spider bites (of the UK variety) are nothing more than an irritation.
"However, in rare cases, a person will have a more serious anaphylactic reaction due to an allergy to the spider venom rather than the actual potency of spider venom (much like a bee or wasp sting).
"Others may later develop secondary complications such as infection of the surrounding skin (cellulitis) which is more to do with bacteria – normally found on the skin –entering where the bite is, or because of scratching the itchy skin, creating a route for infection.”
You might not always realise you have been bit by a spider, so there are eight key signs you need to look out for, Steve advised.
- Red, itchy rash, or raised area of skin (weals)
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Swelling of hands, feet, or face
- Abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhoea
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of tongue and throat with puffiness around eyes
- Confusion and agitation
- Signs of shock leading to collapse and unresponsiveness.
While the first four signs are mild symptoms, the others might indicate an allergic reaction.
If you spot signs of an allergic reaction you need to call 999 or 112 straight away and tell the ambulance service this is what you suspect.
If someone is having a severe allergic reaction, then they may have medication, like an auto-injector which they carry with them.
This is a pre-filled injection device containing adrenaline which, when injected, can help reduce the body’s allergic reaction.
Sometimes people who carry such medication will wear a bracelet or will have programmed this into the emergency information on their phone.
You need to check if they have this medication and if they do, help them use it or do it yourself by following the instructions inclosed.
It's important to make them feel comfortable and monitor their breathing and level of response.
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The experts at St John said repeated doses of adrenaline can be given at five-minute intervals if there is no improvement or the symptoms return.
If the symptoms are not severe or there’s a concern about infected skin after a spider bite, see your GP or call NHS 111.
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