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Tue 8th June 2021 20:53 by Louise Hill
False Widow and Family: Advice please
Hi I have a garden studio (shed!) and since last September a false widow type spider has taken up residence just above the door ... she’s disappeared a couple of times but always comes back to the same spot ... I’ve never been keen on spiders but while spending time in close proximity to this one, especially during lockdown, I’ve become rather fascinated/obsessed with her. I have taken quite a few photos of her, but apart from that we leave each other alone and I’ve had no reason to evict her! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I watched her wrapping something up ... I only know basic things about spiders so I assumed it was a packed lunch ... It wasn’t ... yep, it was an egg sac ... and now there are babies ... lots of babies ... It’s only been a couple of days since they emerged, they’re tiny wee things and they’re all still clustered around the sac ... She is obviously protecting them and seems to be on high alert ... So she’s now turned the fascination dial up to 11 ... What I’d really like to know, is what happens now? Will the babies gradually disperse and find their own space or will they hang around ... ?! I’m not sure how I feel about sharing my shed with so many of them ... It’s easy to live in harmony with one false widow who never ventures far ... but hundreds of them?!  ... I don’t want to harm them but if that many are hiding in all the nooks and crannies in my shed, I’m concerned about accidentally squashing them, or disturbing them and possibly getting bitten ... I know they’re not aggressive spiders and it’s not a lethal bite but I’d still rather avoid it! Am I overreacting?  I’m happy to just leave them alone, but is there something I should be doing to avoid any unpleasantness - for all of us ?! 🤷‍♀️ Apologies for the epic message ... If you’ve read this far thanks, and I look forward to any advice or information you might have for me! Thank you! x

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