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Black Widow Found In The Midlands. And It's Breeding


It's been a tough week for the arachnophobes of the Midlands.

Earlier this week, the world's most venomous spider was found wandering around a warehouse in Tamworth, allowing us to share some photos that sent half of the office into a mild sweat. 

Not to be outdone by their central neighbours, Lemington Spa has discovered its own deadly stowaway in a bunch of grapes purchased from Asda.

Having returned home with their fruity plunder, the shoppers noticed something sinister scuttling around in the carton of green grapes. Geoff Grewcock, a member of Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary called to the scene, related the rest of the story to The Independent

"[The shopper] picked the carton up and saw this spider in there. He thought it didn't look very nice and threw it in the wheelie bin." When Grewcock arrived, he discovered the wheelie bin had been tapped shut. Upon opening the bin, he found the carton and its inhabitant had remained undamaged. "So I pulled the grapes out and it was lucky the spider was still in with the grapes... I put it in a container, looked at it and said 'yes, it's a black widow'."

Events then went grade 10 nightmare.

"The following morning," said Grewcock, "I checked the spider and saw a load of things moving around the grapes... it had given birth."

Or rather, the black widow's carefully guarded brood had proceeded to hatch inside Grewcock's container. 

The specimen and her offspring are now being looked after at Nuneaton sanctuary in Oaston Road, with efforts taken to discover where she had come from. The grapes, imported from Mexico, had clearly managed to sneak past Asda's quality checks.

"We are in contact with the customer and would like to reassure all our customers that these types of incidents are extremely rare and that we have robust processes in place for identifying pests, including spiders," said a spokesman from the store. "All our grapes are fumigated and cold stored but very occasionally a spider hangs around. We sincerely apologise for any distress caused."

Best book your holiday to Australia now. It sounds a good deal safer over there.

(Images: Hanna Horsely)

[Via: The Independent, Nuneaton News]



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