Mum finds deadly black widow spider in Tesco grapes

The spider's venom is 15 stronger than a rattlesnake's

Updated: 

An arachnophobic mum was horrified when she found a killer black widow spider in a box of supermarket grapes.

Kimberley Seymour, 33, got the fright of her life after finding the lethal juvenile spider alive in a punnet of black seedless grapes she'd bought from her local Tesco.

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The black widow is North America's most poisonous spider - and its venom is a staggering 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's.

Shocked Miss Seymour, of Coddenham, near Ipswich, Suffolk, said: "I'm still feeling very shaken up by it.

"It had been in my fridge all week. I absolutely hate spiders!

"I just went into a frenzy when I saw it."

Credits: Archant

The spider has been confirmed as a juvenile black widow

The mother-of-one had bought the fruit at Tesco's Copdock store a week last Sunday but they sat in her fridge until Monday.

Miss Seymour opened the grapes to give her daughter Phoebe, nine, a healthy treat as she was off school with chicken pox.

But she found cobwebs all over the fruit - and a spider lurking in the corner.

"I just worry that my daughter could have been bitten.

"She has a low immune system and is ill at the moment," said Miss Seymour.

"I dread to think what could have happened."

After spotting distinctive red markings on the spider's back the scared stiff mum tried to alert the RSPCA.

She had no luck so called her local vet in Debenham.

Practice manager Jade Martin said Miss Seymour took along the deadly spider in a lunch box.

Mrs Martin said: "We contacted Suffolk Wildlife Trust and they told us it could be a black widow.

"No-one could be 100% sure though.

"It is not the sort of creature you see every day."

Credits: Archant

Kimberley found the spider inside a punnet of Tesco grapes

Catherine Scott, a spider expert based at Canada's Toronto University, last night confirmed it was a juvenile black widow.

The spider has now been handed over alive to senior staff at Tesco's Copdock supermarket after the astonishing drama.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: "We sell over a million bunches of grapes every week and our growers work hard to clean and inspect all the fruit carefully.

"So it's extremely rare to find any unwelcome guests.

"We are investigating the complaint with our supplier and we'll update the customer with our findings."

World's deadliest insects

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