December 11, 2018
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Old Orchard Beach woman says she found black widow spider in grapes

WGME | BDN
WGME | BDN
Sandi Partee of Old Orchard Beach found this black widow spider in her grapes.

AUGUSTA, Maine — An Old Orchard Beach woman says she found a black widow spider in her grapes.

On Wednesday, Sandi Partee was helping her friend make fruit cups at an Old Orchard Beach convenience store. While picking out rotten grapes from the bottom of a container, she noticed something that ruined her appetite.

“That’s not a Maine spider, I knew that,” Partee said.

It was a black widow spider.

The arachnid is not native to Maine, and one bite can prove deadly.

According to National Geographic, the venom of a black widow spider is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. That’s why this eight legged unwanted visitor gave Partee the surprise of a lifetime.

She put the spider under boiling hot water to kill it, and that’s when she noticed a red hourglass on its stomach, a distinct trademark of the venomous breed.

She grabbed a baby food jar and trapped it.

To confirm the most venomous spider type in North America was in our possession, CBS 13 took it to Augusta.

Charlene Donahue at the Maine Forest Service says black widows don’t live in Maine, but they do sometimes come in through produce. The females are poisonous.

Donahue says they bite when they feel threatened, and Partee is lucky.

The spider has been killed to prevent anyone from getting bitten.

Employees of Maine Forest Service’s insect and disease laboratory will put the black widow spider in a vial to be used for education purposes.

 


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