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Venomous spiders discovered in delivery to North-East firm
WORKERS at a North-East company got more than they bargained for when they discovered black widow spiders hiding among industrial goods that had been delivered to them.
Ecology specialists from Naturally Wild were called in to try and safely catch the highly venomous arachnids after staff at the Teesside firm, which does not want to be identified, sent camera phone images of the spiders to the company.
Graeme Skinner, managing director of Naturally Wild, on Skippers Lane Industrial Estate, Middlesbrough, sent out 22-year-old ecologist Jack Fenwick to round up the spiders, which are the most poisonous in North America.
Mr Skinner said: “We received a call from one of our clients, who wishes to remain anonymous, saying one of their staff had spotted some spiders that they weren’t sure about.
“They asked if they should just stamp on them and kill but I said it would be better if they could send us a picture so we could come out and deal with them.
“One of them managed to get a picture of a spider on a mobile phone which was sent to me to have a look at. The picture wasn’t very clear but I thought it could easily be a Black Widow spider so I sent Jack over to investigate.
“When he got there he identified them at the poisonous spider and managed to find six of them. We will be remaining on call just in case anymore appear over the weekend.”
The black widow is a highly venomous which has a potent neurotoxic venom that is thought to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. Although fatalities from a Black Widow bite are rare, they are extremely painful and can cause acute muscle pains, nausea and paralysis of the diaphragm, making breathing difficult.
Mr Skinner added: “It’s not every day that a 22-year-old ecologist gets to round up some Black Widow spiders as part of their work but for someone who wasn’t keen on spiders when he started working here, he did a great job.
“I have a dangerous wild animal licence so I took them home where they can be safely housed but I have already found someone who wants to re-home them permanently.”