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With eight legs, lightning speed and a deadly bite, the Red-back spider originated in Australia. But not anymore. Red-backs have been discovered in homes across Britain, and some of the GCC territories.
Arriving in imported goods or the luggage of returning travellers, the invading species are able to survive in warm houses even if they cannot cope with the climate outdoors. The spiders, in the same family as the black widow, are named for the distinctive red stripe along the back of the female.
The pea-sized female is much larger than the male and is responsible for most bites, which cause extreme pain and swelling followed by nausea, chest pain, sweating, fever and possible respiratory failure.