Swarm of deadly spiders crawl from banana, forcing mother & baby from home
Gemma Price was forced to quit her home in Stanley, County Durham, while exterminators battled to deal with the creatures, some of which had crawled into her baby’s crib.
Price, 30, said she had not noticed the spider egg sac on one of the Costa Rican bananas she had bought from the supermarket.
“Next day I came home from the gym and picked one off from the bunch and went upstairs,” Price said.
“As I peeled the banana a white egg sac, which I hadn’t noticed before, broke and hundreds of little spiders were crawling on my hands and arms and down my pajamas,” Price told the Northern Echo.
Price described being covered by the creatures.
“I was freaking out and screaming and trying to kill as many as I could. Some got into my baby Leo’s cot. I quickly picked him up and called 999 [UK emergency number].
“The operator asked if we had been bitten and when I said no, I was told to evacuate the property with my baby immediately and not to go back.
“My mother lived just across the road, so luckily I had somewhere to go that time of night.”
She claimed pest control experts told her the insects were Brazilian wandering spiders with the potential to kill someone within two hours. They’re thought to be one of the most poisonous arachnids on the planet.
In a less-than-helpful response, the ASDA store manager told price to return to the shop with the spiders and the bananas.
“It was absolutely comical. There was no ways I was going to be walking with potentially venomous spiders in my bag,” Price said.
“I contacted head office the next day and they said there was not much they could do about it.
“The conversation got heated when he suggested I shake the baby’s clothes out, when I said I didn’t have any for Leo.
“That’s when he offered me a £50 (US$65) voucher, as a goodwill gesture, to go to the store to get baby milk and pajamas and things he needed.”
Asda, however, argued more tests have to be carried out to conclude the species was actually the Brazilian wandering spider.
“We sell around 1 billion bananas every year and each and every one is washed, sprayed and manually checked for quality and stowaways before being transported to the UK,” an Asda spokesperson said, according to the Independent.
“Incidents like these are extremely rare, but we understand how upsetting it must have been for Ms. Price and we are in contact with her to find a resolution.
“We'd like to reassure all our customers that the chance of finding a spider is incredibly low and it’s even less likely that a tropical spider could survive outside of their warm climate.”