A Welsh woman got the surprise of her life when she discovered the cocoon of a deadly spider on a banana meant for her daughter.
Maria Layton noticed a little more than potassium on the first banana she pulled from the bunch, but when the more visible cocoon on the second one began to move, she sprang into action. She locked the bananas in a sealed container and threw it in her freezer because she had read it was the way to kill such spiders.
Layton knew what to do because Brazilian wandering spiders, aka banana spiders, have garnered substantial media coverage in the UK over the past couple of years. More often, they make their way into people’s homes, carefully hidden in the bananas. But in 2013, a Tesco supermarket had to be shut down for several hours after one was found in a box of bananas.
The spider gets its name from the way it wanders the forest floor at night and hides in bananas during the day. Banana spiders are considered the deadliest arachnids in the world and can kill victims in as little as two hours.
Their venom can also create a four-hour erection in male victims (and is being studied for use in erectile dysfunction medication), but is more likely to bring about a rapid and painful deterioration of bodily functions if untreated.
So, don’t get any ideas.
Layton’s bagged bananas were in her house for an entire day before she discovered the spiders, so she frantically tried to get help from authorities or Tesco, to no avail.
“I spent about an hour and a half ringing round trying to get some help,” Layton told the Bristol Post. “[Mean]while I had this potential killer spider in the house.”
Though she managed to get hold of several Tesco customer service representatives, they didn’t offer more than an apology or a refund. A spokesperson stated that it wasn’t their policy to send a professional out to the home to assess the potential danger to the family, despite the company doing so in other cases in Essex and Staffordshire, England.
Tesco’s borderline indifference could be simply attributed to the company not wanting to send anyone to Wales. I get that. It’s the New Jersey of the UK with more complicated accents.
Thankfully, no one’s been hurt in any of these situations, but this is additional bad press for the already ailing Tesco. Good thing corporations aren’t people.
H/t Bristol Post