Venomous spider found crawling out of bunch of bananas in Asda

Spider: The arachnid was found in a box of bananas.
Spider: The arachnid was found in a box of bananas.© Scottish SPCA

A "terrified" supermarket worker found a venomous spider crawling out of a bunch of bananas.

A colleague had to be called from the office to deal with the creepy crawly, which has a 10cm leg span, after floor staff refused to go near it.

Petra Merriman managed to get the spider into a plastic jar at Asda Chesser in Edinburgh on Tuesday before calling the Scottish SPCA.

Ms Merriman said: "All the boys were running round like headless chickens. One of the chaps who was putting boxes of bananas in the display took a lid off a box and saw it was curled around a banana.

"We got a phone call in the back office saying come and deal with this spider. The guys all said 'I'm not going'. I said I would. I'm not arachnophobic at all.

"I brought a pot with a secure lid down with me, and I just popped it in. I didn't have to touch it; I just put the pot underneath it. Nothing like this has ever happened here before."

The animal charity took the spider to Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World to be looked after but it died overnight.

The ctenidae arachnid, also known as the banana spider, is not deadly but can make someone very ill.

Fiona Thorburn from the Scottish SPCA collected the creature from the supermarket.

She said: "The spider was found in a box of bananas that originated from Colombia. Although she was not very large, she was quite an impressive looking creature so we can understand why the person who found her let out a loud scream.

"Thankfully in this instance no one was harmed and the quick-thinking staff did the right thing in containing her safely and calling us for help."

Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World's Kevin Thom said: "This is one of the most common spiders we receive from supermarkets.

"It isn't deadly but its venom contains high levels of serotonin. If bitten you would experience pain, swelling, muscle spasms and flu-like symptoms which could be very unpleasant, depending on the amount of venom that was injected.

"These spiders can survive transport from abroad by shutting down and becoming very cold. They awaken when they warm up, which is often under bright shop lights. This female has possibly suffered shock in transit or it may simply have been her time to die."

A spokeswoman for Asda said: "All our bananas are washed and sprayed before they are transported to the UK and every single fruit is manually checked for quality and stowaways. We sell 1 billion bananas every year and the chance of finding a spider is incredibly low but very occasionally one hangs around to give us a fright."

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