Man bitten hundreds of times due to false widow infestation – BBC


A man who has been bitten hundreds of times by spiders infesting in his home has resorted to sleeping in a tent.
Russell Davies said Clarion Housing Association, which owns the flat, has refused to fumigate it.
The 55-year-old said: "I'm in pain. It feels like when I shiver that I've got shards of glass in every part of my body where I've been bitten."
Clarion said it is Mr Davies' responsibility to deal with the infestation.
Mr Davies said: "I've been sleeping in a tent for roughly a week and a half. In the daytime I'm walking around looking for things. My mind is constantly on edge because I'm looking for a web, spiders. I don't want to live like this."
The spider is said to have a bite on a par with a wasp's sting, and some people can have adverse reactions to the venom.
Mr Davies, who was homeless before moving into the flat in Southborough, Kent, in 2020, first noticed sores on his body within a week of moving in but only raised the issue with Clarion nine months ago when the spiders were discovered as the cause.
"My body started to get bites, and then splits on my chest and my arms, which were almost like lesions, I didn't know what they were at the time.
"When I actually found the spiders in my property 15 months had passed by and I was what you would call an all-you-can-eat banquet for these spiders, while I was asleep.
He said he "tore [his] flat to pieces" searching for the spiders but the ordeal has left him struggling with his sleep and mental health.
"I don't know if I've got them all. This is the frightening part for me, I don't sleep very well at the moment because it's got into my mind so badly because I was bitten while I was asleep. Clarion have, three days ago, flatly refused to come and fumigate the property that I live in. "
Mr Davies said Clarion did arrange to fumigate the hallways and landings in communal areas after he raised concerns, but have repeatedly refused to specifically fumigate his home or pay for more intense heat treatment.
Mr Davies said the problem has left him in pain and unable to continue to work as a chef because of the condition of his skin.
A Clarion spokesperson said: "We appreciate how unpleasant and inconvenient pests can be and we are sorry to hear that Mr Davies is suffering with this at present. He has been correctly advised that under the terms of his tenancy agreement, it is his responsibility to deal with this pest infestation.
"Clarion's pest control specialists are contracted to deal with issues in communal spaces, but we asked them to review Mr Davies' situation and they have provided him with some practical advice on how he can resolve it."
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