Deadly Spider Found in Family's Bananas

World's most dangerous arachnid gnawed its own leg off in escape attempt
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2014 11:34 AM CDT
Deadly Spider Found in Family's Bananas
A Brazilian wandering spider like this one was found in one London family's bananas.   (Shutterstock)

The last thing you'd expect to find lurking in your bananas is a creature whose Greek scientific name means "murderess." But that's exactly what one London family found after a grocery delivery from the Waitrose supermarket chain, the Daily Mail reports. The family patriarch (known only as "Tim") was unloading the groceries when he spied the venomous Brazilian wandering spider—the world's most dangerous arachnid, LiveScience reports—and panicked, dropping the bananas into a bowl and trapping the spider by one of its legs. After he discovered its lethal status online, he says, "We were terrified. We got ourselves and our kids out of the house straight away." Unfortunately, no one seemed to want to deal with the spider: Both police and the local animal welfare group said they weren't equipped to handle it.

In the meantime, the spider had chewed its own leg off and disappeared, and a Waitrose worker sent over found hundreds of spider eggs in the bananas. Waitrose finally sent a pest control expert, who battled what he called the "hard-core" arachnid and its spawn the old-school way: He stuck the eggs in the freezer to kill them and battled the fang-baring spider with a 3-foot stick until he was able to direct it into a heavy plastic container. Waitrose gave the family $240 in store vouchers, a "family day out," and an apology. The spider, which usually resides in South America and occasionally shows up in imported fruit, can kill a human within minutes with its toxin, which also gives men long-lasting erections—it has been proposed to help treat erectile dysfunction, the Huffington Post reports. (It may have been lethal, but at least the spider wasn't as big as a puppy, nor did it burrow into anyone's chest.)

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