A mum had the fright of her life when she discovered a rare and deadly spider hiding in a bunch of supermarket bananas – whose venom can give a man a four hour erection.
Maria Layton, 43, opened the bag of fruit she bought from Tesco to find they were infested with eggs which she believes are from the Brazilian Wandering Spider – the most deadly in the world.
She searched Google and found out the species is deadly and its venom can kill a human in just two hours, but can also give male victims a painful four-hour erection.
As soon as Maria spotted the cocoon the spiders started to hatch so she quickly put them in a sealed container in the freezer and called Tesco customer services.
The spider’s venom is currently being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments.
Mother-of-two Maria went to open the bag for her eldest daughter Siri, six, but noticed there was something strange on the side of one of the bananas, which had been imported from Costa Rica.
The full-time mum said: “My husband bought the bananas from Tesco, they had been in the house a whole day before I ripped the bag open.
“Siri asked for a banana. The first banana had a funny bit on it, so I got another one for her and that was when I found the massive spider cocoon.
“There was a spider web on the other bananas too.
“I recognised it because I remembered seeing a news story about them, so when I saw the cocoon it rang a bell and I thought I should check it so I Google’d it.
“I went through the images and there was an image which looked very similar to mine.
“I was so scared – I don’t like spiders at the best of times, but have read about the Brazilian Wandering Spiders – and was very frightened about the potential threat.
“The spider cocoon started to unfurl so I put it in a sealed box and put it in the freezer as I read that that is supposed to kill them.”
“I’m glad it was me rather than Siri that opened the bananas, I think the spiders are more likely to bite small children rather than older people,” she added.
The Brazilian Wandering Spider are mainly active during the night, and walk across the jungle floor.
But during the day they hide inside banana plants hence the nickname ‘banana spider’.
Maria Layton lives in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, and her husband bought the bananas from a branch of Tesco in Pontardawe in South Wales.
Shocked by her discovery, and the threat to her and her children – Siri, six, and Phoebe, three, Maria contacted Tesco customer services.
Tesco said that Maria should bring the bananas, deadly spiders and all, back to the store so that the bar code could be scanned and her money refunded.
Maria said: “Tesco were a bit useless, I was really concerned about the possibility of this dangerous spider and spider eggs in my house and really wanted some helpful advice on how to act.
“I wasn’t sure if other spiders or eggs had escaped when I ripped the bag open.
“I posted the picture on Tesco Facebook page and they told me to send the wrapper in so they could get the bar-code to refund me.”
“I was shocked, they failed to see the potential threat to me and my family and thought I was only interested in having a pound or so back,” the mum added.
“I called Food Standards but they said it wasn’t anything to do with them, I called Trading Standards but they were shut.
“I spent an hour-and-a-half ringing round trying to get some help – while I had this potentially killer spider in the house.”
A spokesperson for Tesco said: “We’ve apologised to Mrs Layton and offered a gesture of goodwill.
“We’ve asked her to return the product to our store so we can conduct a full investigation.”
Sourced from mirror.com