Black widow spider found in package delivered to Norfolk firm
10:33 16 November 2012
Staff at a Norfolk firm got more than they bargained for when they received a package from Texas containing parts for their manufacturing business.
The special delivery to a firm near Great Yarmouth also contained a highly venomous black widow spider and a nest containing the eggs of hundreds more black widows on the verge of hatching.
Pest control firm Abate Pest Management, based at Morley St Botolph, were called into action by staff who said they had found a nasty looking spider on their property.
Staff at the unnamed firm managed to trap the spider in a glass tumbler until the professionals arrived and quickly identified the spider, considered to be the most venomous spider in North America.
A plan was implemented that included tracking down where antivenom is located in the UK, which turned out to be just two hospitals.
The James Paget University Hospital was notified and medical advice was given should anyone receive a bite.
Ian Parkinson, service manager at Abate Pest Control, transferred the black widow from the glass to a sealed insect jar.
Within 48 hours, the spiders from the small nest had hatched.
Jon Blake, director of Abate Pest Management, said: “It was down to the fast reaction of the company who called us to deal with the problem that brought this issue safely under control.
“Black widows are very notorious spiders identified by the coloured, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens.
“This spider’s bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s.
“In humans bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage.”