November 25, 2013
Poisonous Spiders Found In Grapes At Supermarkets In Four States
[ Watch the Video: Check Your Grapes! Black Widow Spiders May Be Lurking Within ]
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Purchasing a bunch of red grapes at the local supermarket last week nearly turned out to be a fatal decision for one Pennsylvania woman, who was almost bitten by a venomous black widow spider.
As reported by the Daily Mail on Saturday, the woman, Yvonne Whalen, was washing the produce in a colander when she saw a spider crawl over the top of one of the grapes. She immediately dropped the container into the sink.
“Mrs. Whalen quickly did an Internet search in an attempt to identify the type of spider she found,” stated Lara Stielow of the Las Vegas Guardian Express. Ultimately, she contacted a spider expert, who came to her home and identified the arachnid as a young female Latrodectus or black widow spider, whose venomous bite is dangerous and potentially fatal to humans.
According to Fox News, similar incidents have been reported this month in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Stielow added that spiders were also detected in grapes purchased in a Missouri supermarket.
In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a woman named Yvonne Duckhorn was inspecting grapes for mold at an Aldi store when she found a black widow, Karen Herzog of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported back on November 9. Following the incident, the supermarket chain announced that they would be pulling all red, green and black grapes from Milwaukee-area stores and promised to step-up produce inspections.
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Callum Merry noticed a spider web along with a black widow in a bag of grapes purchased at a Kroger supermarket in Brighton, Michigan. Likewise, in early October, two shoppers reported finding black widow spiders in grapes obtained from two different Aldi stores in the St. Louis area.
“A female black widow’s venom is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake,” Stielow said, adding that the spiders are “are easily identified by the characteristic red hourglass shape on their abdomen” and are not typically aggressive, only biting when they feel the need to defend themselves.
“A bite from a black widow feels like a pinprick and can go altogether unnoticed by some,” she added. “The site can be identified by double fang marks on the victim’s skin. Pain, redness, and swelling develop quickly after being bitten. A person may experience any of the following symptoms: headache, dizziness, itching, rash, anxiety, cramping and a stiff torso, back and shoulders, weakness or paralysis, excessive saliva, nausea, and vomiting. The victim should clean the site of the wound with soap and water, apply ice and then seek medical treatment.”