World's Deadliest Spider Hiding In Store Bananas (January 26/2002)
A Comox Valley Super-Value Store produce employee recently stumbled upon a frightening sight when he found a three inch Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria fera) in a box of bananas. He kept the spider in a jar for a few days under a heat lamp until it became extremely aggressive. He then made the decision to kill it.
The situation could easily have turned deadly if it weren't for the awareness, and quick response of the man. Unsuspecting shoppers could have been bitten while handling the bananas.
Other food stores in the area were notified to be on the lookout for spiders in their shipments, and to use great caution in handling imported foods.The store said it did not want pubicity over this incident for fears it would harm business.
According to the Guinness Book of Records the worlds most venomous spider is the Brazilian Wandering Spider.
This spider is believed to have the most active neurotoxic venom of any living spider. Its venom is so potent that only 0.006mg (0.00000021oz) is sufficient to kill a mouse.
The Brazilian Wandering Spider is very fast, extremely venomous, nervous, and aggressive. This large and dangerous spider is grows to five inches long, and is ranked among the most venomous spiders known to man.
This Spider is often referred to as the "Banana Spider" because there have been cases where these spiders unintentionally appeared on banana boats heading for the United States from tropical, and subtropical regions of South America.Tarantulas are commonly found during banana inspections.
This is not the first time deadly spiders have made it across Canadian borders from tropical regions,a and may occur more often than realized.
The problem arises when some of these spiders manage to go unnoticed and begin weaving their webs in our unsuspecting neighborhoods.They can breed and proliferate until they cannot be controlled.
British Columbia, and particulary Vancouver Island has already been invaded by at least two other deadly spiders, which are now considered to be permanent residents.
The deadly Brown recluse (Violin), and Hobo spiders. Reactions to bites from either of these two spiders is very similar, causing tissue breakdown.Amputation of the affected areas are often required. Death can follow.
By A. Longson