Black widows have been found in grapes for the third time in just a few weeks, a frightening epidemic that experts say is surprisingly common.
This week a woman in the Milwaukee area bought some grapes and took them home to find live black widow spiders hanging out inside.
The woman, Yvonne Duckhorn, said she picked out the grapes at an Aldi’s store in Wauwatosa while shopping with her 4-year-old daughter. She brought them home and was checking to see if there was any mold when she saw something peculiar.
“I saw the legs moving frantically,” Duckhorn told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Then she noticed the telltale red hourglass marking, realizing it was black widows in her grapes.
This marks the fourth instance in just the last few weeks of a shopper finding a dangerous spider in their produce. In early November, a shopper found another black widow inside a bag of grapes purchased at a Kroger store in Brighton, Michigan.
Callum Merry was eating the grapes when he noticed a web inside the bag. When he looked closer, he saw that the spider was still attached, and alive.
Within days of that incident, a shipment of grapes to a Minnesota school was found to contain black widows.
The black widow is considered one of the most venomous spiders in North America, with a bit that can sometimes be lethal.
It’s not just black spider in grapes that shoppers have found. A few weeks back, a woman bought a bunch of bananas but came home to find dozens of tiny Brazilian wandering spiders, one of the deadliest types of spider.
Experts say it’s not all that uncommon to find black widows in grapes. The spiders typically live in the same field where the fruit are harvested, and since the mid 1990s farmers have cut back on the insecticides that once kept them in check.