School closed and 1,500 students sent home after suspected false widow spider outbreak


According to the Natural History Museum, false widow spiders often venture inside in the Autumn as the weather cools, but the spiders can be found indoors year-round.

They usually keep to dark corners, going unnoticed for most of the year.

Despite looking similar to the far more dangerous black widow spider – owing to their name – the spiders, which arrived in the UK in the 1870s, have a “relatively harmless bite” akin to a wasp sting.

Pupils at Dunston will not be getting the day off, however, with teachers moving to online lessons.



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