December 15, 2008

Deadly California spider travels to Canada

A deadly black widow spider survived a trip from California in a bunch of grapes and ended up in the kitchen of a startled Canadian veterinarian.

Tina Chivers, wife of Dr. Jeremy Chivers, said she began screaming Saturday as she washed the seedless red grapes and left them to dry in a sink in St. Catharines, Ontario, northwest of Niagara Falls.

She told the St. Catharines Standard that when she spotted the spider's telltale red hourglass marking, she let out a scream that brought her husband running.

He coaxed it into a capped jar and stored it well out of reach of their two children, 3, and 6, the couple said.

The veterinarian said he put a housefly into the jar, and has noticed the spider has begun spinning a web. He said he planned to contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to report the spider.