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Spiders in Bananas: Deadly Creepy-Crawlies Hatch As Woman Eats

Image: Spiders in Bananas: Deadly Creepy-Crawlies Hatch As Woman Eats Adult Brazilian Wandering Spider.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 03:08 PM

A London woman's banana was infested with a nest of deadly Brazilian wandering spiders, the most venomous spider in the world, and she didn't make the nightmarish discovery until she'd already eaten half the banana.

The Daily Mail reported that Consi Taylor purchased the Colombian Fair Trade bananas from Sainsbury's local chain. Taylor said she had eaten one half of the banana when she noticed what she thought was unusual bruising.

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Then the tiny marks dropped onto her carpet and "scurried off into hiding," according to the Daily Mail. She said it was pest control experts who informed her that the insects could be Brazilian wandering spiders.

These particular arachnids often called "banana spiders" because they like to hide in banana plants and are found throughout South and Central America.

The spiders, whose legs can grow as long as six inches, can be extremely aggressive and their venom contains a neurotoxin which triggers loss of muscle control, breathing problems, paralysis and eventual asphyxiation. They're listed by Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most venomous spider.

The family, which includes husband Richard and two young children, spent three nights in a hotel until their home could be fumigated.

"I screamed, it was horrible," Consi Taylor told the Daily Mail. "I’m scared of spiders anyway so I had to get a friend to come round to hoover them up. Then we cleaned the floor with anti-bacterial wipes."

Sky News reported that Sainsbury's paid for the Taylor home to be fumigated and put the family up in the hotel.

"We're very sorry and have apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor," a Sainsbury spokesman said. "We do have rigorous controls on imported products at all stages — from harvesting to transportation — which is why this is so rare."

The spiders have from time to time have survived long distances in bananas. In 2011, German officials said they found a Brazilian wandering spider at a grocery store in the town of Bexbach, which forced an evacuation of the store. Officials eventually found and killed the spider.

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