PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland woman opened a bag of grapes recently and said she found much more than she bargained for.
Melissa Emmons said she felt something weird, like hair, in the bag of green California seedless grapes she bought at a local Hannaford on Thursday night. When she pulled out the grapes, she says she saw a black spider, very much alive.
Emmons says she screamed, and her boyfriend sprayed it with Windex and then hornet spray. That’s when they say they noticed the distinctive hourglass pattern on its underbelly, identifying it as a poisonous black widow spider.
Black widows hitching rides to New England in fruit and biting people is rare but not unheard of. It happened in Vermont just this spring. In that case, the woman who was bitten became ill but survived. Emmons said she gave the dead spider to Hannaford, which gave her a refund and vowed to check its shipments. Efforts to contact Hannaford were not immediately returned.