Why are they called false widow spiders? Simply because they are often mistaken for their more dangerous cousin the Black Widow Spider. False Widows are not native to our shores, but over the last few decades have become more prevalent with most sightings appearing in the south of England. Climate change leading to warmer weather further north however are leading to sightings further north.
Unlike the Black widow whose bite can lead to nausea, profuse sweating, severe pain in abdomen and back, muscle aches, hypertension and paralysis of the diaphragm, which can cause difficulty in breathing which can last for several and pain from a Black Widow bite can last for up to 12 hours. The False Widow bite is usually no more severe than a bee or wasp sting. Few that have been bitten describe more acute symptoms to include throbbing pain, swelling and tingling in the fingers and on occasion a fever and the general feeling of being unwell, but these generally go away with in a couple of days.
That said the False Widow spider is a generally non-aggressive species that only bite as a defensive response from things like being accidentally squashed. If you indeed come across a False Widow in your home or near it, you can carefully capture it with a piece of paper and tumbler and release it a distance from your home or property.