The Mirror has an article on a man who claims to have been so severely bitten by spiders that he can’t work. You probably don’t want to read it: it’s mainly lots of close-up, full-color photos of oozing, infected wounds full of pus, and it’s going to horrify and sicken most people. There is one photo of a large false widow, but there is no connection between it and the person’s injuries, and I have to suspect something else is going on here.
The man and his son have multiple lesions all over their legs…how? These are solitary spiders, mostly, and they have no interest in biting people. One bite, I could believe; if you rolled over in bed on one, crushing it, it might bite in self-defense. But numerous bites? This makes no sense. Ticks, bedbugs, that sort of nasty beastie that actually feeds on humans, I could see, especially since those kinds of bites are recurrent and prone to infection.
This is not the first time I’ve seen the UK tabloids freaking out about spider invasions. What’s going on over there? Is this a symptom of rising xenophobia? Can I expect US tabloids to start inventing lurid stories of evil spiders killing people in their beds?