Deadly spider found laying eggs on grapes in Leamington supermarket

They can lay up to 400 eggs


A deadly and pregnant spider was found lurking in a bunch of innocent fruit in one of our local supermarkets.

The 500 gram pack of grapes, bought from the Asda in Sydenham near Leamington Spa by a horrified family, contained a potentially Black Widow spider weaving their way around the fruit.

Richard and Hannah Horsley had carted the grapes home and were just about to tuck into the white seedless pack when they first noticed a red and black critter lurking behind the cellophane wrapper.

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“Dave does it seem a bit cold to you?”

Following the sighting the mother Hannah said she thought she might vomit in a post on Facebook.

Hanna, 30, said: “Anyone know what this black spider with red markings is? In our grapes from asda… from Mexico. It’s alive and I think I might vomit.”

It was only after responses that suggested that the creepy-crawly was potentially one of the world’s most venomous spiders that she realised the gravity of the situation.

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Handle with care

They quickly sealed the pack with gaffer tape, threw it in the bin and took to dialing 999. The Police were on hand to call the midlands equivalent of Steve Irwin, Geoff Grewcock from Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary.

On inspection Geoff worryingly discovered that not only was their a spider eating their paid for fruit, but that she had actually laid eggs – some of which had hatched.

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“Oi boys, over here, I found some fruit”

Geoff Irwin said: “It has given birth now, though, so there are more black widow spiders.

“We have seen a few babies in there, but they can have up to 400 eggs.”

£1.50 is a fair price to pay for an exotic animal and a bunch of fruit, but on this occasion the cost could have been much more.

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Sweet and succulent and deadly

Hannah said: “We usually let the children help themselves to the grapes, but for some reason my husband did it for them on this occasion, and we’re so grateful he did.

“We can’t begin to think about what would have happened if the children had put their hands in, or if the spider had escaped out into the house.”

Since the incident Asda have been in constant contact with the family and have reassured the public that such instances as this are extremely rare.

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That’s Asda Price

An Asda spokesman said: “We take these matters very seriously and have launched an investigation to determine how this particular spider got through our checks.

“All our grapes are fumigated and cold stored, but very occasionally a spider hangs around. We sincerely apologise for any distress caused.”

Despite Hannah’s fear of spiders it seems she’s happier now the arachnid threat has gone.

She added: “The only grapes in our house will be the liquid kind from now on.”

An Asda spokesman said: “We take these matters very seriously and have launched an investigation to determine how this particular spider got through our 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 we have robust processes in place for identifying pests, including spiders.

“All our grapes are fumigated and cold stored, but very occasionally a spider hangs around. We sincerely apologise for any distress caused.”