Customer Finds Black Widow Spider In Grapes Bought At Target

It seems like it was just last week that we last heard about a grocery customer bringing home a venomous black widow spider on a bunch of grapes…because it was. Last week, a woman in Vermont was hospitalized after a black widow spider hiding in the grapes bit her. This weekend, a man in Illinois found one in the grapes that he purchased at Target, and headed right back to the store to return the fruit. And the spider.

The man recognized the spider’s markings while unpacking his groceries at home, and immediately brought it back to the store. “I’m just happy I didn’t get bit,” he told the radio station. “If I would have gotten bit or if any of my kids had gotten bit, that would have been a whole different story.” That’s exactly what happened in Vermont last week, but the woman who was bitten was hospitalized and expected to make a full recovery.

We don’t know what ultimately happened to the spider, but that Target store told radio station WBBM that they disposed of that batch of grapes and notified their supplier about the problem.

Black widow spiders like to build webs in vineyards, where they snack on insects and are generally helpful. They don’t want to end up in a colander in a suburban home, and will only bite if disturbed. It’s a good idea to check your fruit before eating it, especially red grapes, which provide spiders with more cover. Remove grapes from the package before washing. Look for any insects. Don’t reach into the middle of the bag.

Bites generally aren’t fatal, but they are painful and you should seek medical attention. However, a spider is most likely to bite without using venom at all.

Grocery Customer To Target: There’s A Spider In My Grapes! [WBBM]
4 misconceptions about the black widow spider [CBS News]

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