Black widow spider found in package delivered to Norfolk firm

PUBLISHED: 10:33 16 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:24 16 November 2012

The black widow found at a firm near Great Yarmouth

The black widow found at a firm near Great Yarmouth


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.”


  • unnamed firm? is it a secret? is there someone hiding something? what don't you want us to know? come on! spill the beans! let us know! we wont be frightened! honest we wont! you can tell us! you really can!

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    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • Why the "web" of secrecy around the company and what the package contained? This story has the legs to run and run. Are they sending the spiders back to Texas or are they off to the heavenly vacuum cleaner?

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    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • I agree with Patrick, in that this article raises more questions than it answers. There's something wrong here.

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    John L Norton

    Friday, November 16, 2012

  • Can you believe it? The supplier didn't even make them pay extra for those spiders.

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    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • You forget Patrick. If the spider had bitten anyone, the EDP would be the first to name them. Double standards as they wont even name the purportrators of crime, just the victims.

    Report this comment


    Friday, November 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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