TORONTO – A family in the U.K. said they were horrified to find one of the world’s most aggressive and venomous spiders hiding in bananas that were delivered in an online grocery order from Waitrose.
The Brazilian wandering spider was reportedly found in a bunch of bananas and was sitting on a sack of eggs containing thousands of babies.
“Although people might think these things are funny, I keep thinking that the spider could have killed me or my son if he had gone to get a banana,” said the father of the family, Tim, in an interview with the Daily Mail Sunday.
Tim, who declined to give his surname, said he spotted the arachnid while unpacking groceries he ordered from Waitrose and dropped the fruit into a bowl in shock, inadvertently trapping the spider’s leg. The spider, reportedly trying to escape, tore off its own leg, sparking a tense hunt as Tim and his family fled the house.
“We were terrified. We got ourselves and our kids out of the house straight away.”
Tim reportedly took photos of the spider in order to identify it.
The Brazilian wandering spider’s venom is said to be 30 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake and can kill a human within two hours. Native to Brazil and northern Argentina, the spider’s bite causes loss of muscle control and results in breathing problems that can lead to paralysis and eventual asphyxiation.
The RSPCA said they were unable to handle such a dangerous situation and advised the couple to call police who suggested they contact pest control.
Meanwhile, a pest expert from Waitrose came to the house and placed the bananas with the sac of spider eggs in the freezer in order to kill them. The spider was eventually found and removed by the pest expert.
Waitrose said they are looking into the incident as the safety of their customers is their absolute priority.
“We did everything we could to look after our customer during what was a distressing incident and we’ve apologised personally,” the company said in an email statement to Global News. “Although this is highly unusual, we’re taking it very seriously and will be working with our supplier to minimize the risk of this happening again.”