A FATHER had the "hairs standing on his neck" after spying the UK’s most venomous spider crawling towards his baby in Blackheath.
It comes after an army of false widow spiders - whose venom can be deadly for those allergic - have been spotted across News Shopper land with readers reporting around 100 sightings.
David Banks saw the "fearsome-looking beast" with a skull shape marked on the back of its black body making a bee-line for his six-month-old son Eden in Blackheath’s Cator Estate.
The 38-year-old public relations consultant told News Shopper: "I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a spider crawling to the baby. "I had the hairs on the back of my neck up.
"It is a fearsome-looking beast with a skull on its back. "It did make me a bit worried when I saw it, especially when I trapped it and saw the markings.
"I am sure he [Eden] would have been intrigued to see the spider and reached out to grab it.
"You don’t often see spiders of that size in this country and looking like that. My rule of thumb is – anything with a nasty looking marking on the back is making a point."
The former journalist trapped the Steatoda noblis – also known as the biting spider – in a beaker and threw it out of harm’s way.
Mr Banks, who is interested in insects and seen many arachnids when working in the Middle East, added: "Although it does look quite scary, it probably wouldn’t kill anyone unless they went into anaphylactic shock.
"But most of the time if it bites, it is going to be like a bee sting."
News Shopper has recently been flooded with reports of the creature - with sightings stretching from Lewisham to Gravesend.
One Eltham mum is "sleeping with one eye open" after returning from work to find one hanging out in her Eltham home.
Gemma Stuart, 31, who lives off Westmount Road, said: "He wasn’t what I was expecting when I came home from work. "I turned on the light and it was there on my wall. I just thought: ‘oh my god’.
"It freaked me out.
"I grabbed a bowl and put the bowl over the top of it. I sat there for five minutes and thought ‘what am I going to do, everyone else is asleep?’"
The-mother-of-two, who works in document production, says she finally plucked up the courage to take it outside but heard a "crunch" as she did so and accidentally killed the not-so-'mini-beast'.
She said: "I am sleeping with one eye open and my mouth closed. I just don’t know if there are any nests."