New Hampshire family finds black widow spider in package of grapes

This undated photo shows a Black Widow spider taken in a shed near New Market, Va. Spiders are one of the gardeners best tools for biological pest control and also are one of the few pest predators that don't eat plants. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
This undated photo shows a Black Widow spider taken in a shed near New Market, Virginia. –Dean Fosdick via AP

A New Hampshire family got a dangerous eight-legged surprise inside a package of grapes they purchased on Sunday.

Jennifer Rydeen discovered what appeared to be a black widow spider crawling inside the container of organic red grapes when she went to wash the produce in her Freemont home, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“I really felt like I was in a dream. I honestly went into shock,” she told the paper. “I’ve never seen a spider that black before. The fact that it was alive was just creepy.”

She immediately took the package outside to the family’s deck and her husband, Michael, killed the spider, according to the Union Leader.


Rydeen said the family is lucky neither of her young children got into the grapes first, which sat on the counter for a couple of hours after her husband returned from a shopping trip to the Market Basket in Epping.

Black widow venom can cause serious health problems including nausea, paralysis of the diaphragm, and even death — particularly for young children and the elderly.

The director of the Epping market told the Union Leader that no other black widows have been found in grapes at the store, but cautioned customers to keep an eye on produce to be safe.

Read the full Union Leader report here.

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