Suffolk: Black Widow spider fears spark partial shutdown of Wattisham Airfield

FEARS a spider found at Wattisham Airfield on Saturday night was a deadly black widow has prompted part of the base to be shut down.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed last night that the Herrick bar and officers’ mess had been closed while the identity of the arachnid - which has been sent away for testing - is confirmed.

A MoD spokesman said: “It’s true that two buildings have been isolated as a precaution.

“A spider was found which people had some suspicions about.

“Being on the safe side there was a possibility it was a black widow.

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“It was captured and it’s gone off to be tested.

“Obviously if it’s a black widow action will be taken to make sure there’s none others.”

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The black widow spider is nocturnal and its bite, which affects the victim’s nervous system, can be fatal.

Last month the base reported a colony of black widows had been destroyed after coming into Wattisham on a crate of equipment from El Centre training base in California. They were reportedly confined to one hanger while a pest control agency was drafted in.

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