Essex woman finds eggs of world’s most venomous spider in her shopping

Abby Woodgate was told to burn anything that had come into contact with Brazilian wandering spider eggs found on bananas

Brazilian wandering spider venom causes loss of muscle control and breathing problems, paralysis and asphyxiation. Photograph: Apex Photo Agency/Rex

The Brazilian wandering spider – perhaps the world’s most aggressive and venomous spider – is a rare visitor to these shores, but has recently been turning up in shipments of bananas, most recently in Colchester.

Such is their fearsome reputation that a woman who found its eggs in bananas she bought from Tesco on Monday had to incinerate her vacuum cleaner after using it to clean them up.

Abby Woodgate, 30, was told by pest control experts that she would have to burn anything that had come into contact with the spider eggs, as the arachnids are highly venomous. At deadly concentrations, their venom causes loss of muscle control and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation.

The Brazilian wandering spider has a tendency to hide in banana bunches or plantations and is occasionally found as a stowaway within shipments of bananas, hence its other name – banana spider.

Although its venom is highly toxic, it is being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments. The spider’s bite can cause an erection that sometimes lasts for up to four hours.

Woodgate first thought the bananas had mould on them after noticing a white lump when they were delivered to her home. When she poked it with a toothpick, a cocoon opened, revealing dozens of tropical eggs.

She immediately threw the fruit in the bin, but a few eggs dropped on her kitchen floor, which she vacuumed. She called Tesco’s Highwoods store, which had delivered the shopping to her home and it said it would collect them. She then received a call to say pest control experts would call round instead.

“The pest controllers asked where the eggs were and I told them the bin and they said: ‘Right, we’ll take that’,” Woodgate said. “Then they asked had anything else come into contact with the eggs, and I told them about my vacuum cleaner, so they said: ‘We’ll have to take that too’. All they could tell me is they thought they were tropical spider eggs.”

Tesco has offered to replace her bin and the cleaner.

Source: TheGuardian Read more

 

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