Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Black Widow in my Grapes!

The day before Halloween I got quite the surprise.  I took a bag of grapes out of my fridge (they had been there for a week) and dumped them into a plastic container.  I was getting them ready to take to playgroup for the little kids to snack on.  Next I rinsed them a few times under the tap using my hands to hold the grapes in as I poured the water off.  Then I was snacking on a few of the grapes WHEN A BIG BLACK SPIDER CAME CRAWLING OUT!

Now, I am not afraid of spiders.  They don't really bother me, but this one crawling out of my grapes gave me the heebie jeebies!

I quickly put the lid on the container and put the entire works outside into our lovely -24C temperatures.  I was going to kill him!  But then I knew I needed picture of him.  So I brought the container back in, bravely lifted up the lid and snapped a quick picture before the spider crawled out.  Then back outside it went.
Well hello spider!  Good thing the grapes didn't make it down to playgroup!

The picture wasn't great and my friends on facebook were appealing to my inner science geek to figure out what kind of spider I had found.  So a few hours later, once I was sure he would be dead, I brought the container back into the house and took his frozen carcass out to photograph.

Turns out I found a black widow spider.  Wow!  It was really easy to identify with the bold red markings under his abdomen.  A friend sent me this link to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about black widows traveling up from California in the fall on grapes.  I looked at the package the grapes had be in, and yes, they were from California!

Most definitely a black widow!

We named it Bob and it is now in a jar.

The best conversation had about the spider came from Michael in Whitehorse.  I have a deathly, irrational fear of moths and I said I would rather be around the spider over a moth.  This is what he said about that:

That's so weird. Let's assess the comparative threat level.

Black Widow Spider: Not dangerous if left alone, but capable of causing painful death with one bite. Threat Level 9 out of 10.

Moth: A fuzzy relative to the butterfly. Flits about, causing no direct harm to any human ever. Commits suicide by repeatedly "flying into the light" Threat Level -1000 out of 10.

ahahah  So funny and true.  But I am still scared of moths.  Deathly afraid.  

So check your grapes thoroughly and maybe you will find a new friend too! 


Way Way Up said...

Spider - Damn! I thought I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque!

Tara said...

Holy smokes, that's crazy!

Gen said...

Whoa, Kara. I'll never handle grapes to same way ever again!

Wandering Spirit Kennels said...

I totally agree with you about moths! I'd take a spider over a moth any day!!

Unknown said...

You know what's really awesome? Spidermoths! (I am not making this up)

Fignie said...

Uummm Yeah ... you keep your little friend over on that side of the Territory ... I'm never buying grapes again ... EVER!

Cindy said...

You're not very likely to be killed by a black widow spider. A 1% chance, actually. You'll be very ill, obviously, but the survival rate is 99%. Your friend did exaggerate a bit.

I am glad to find I am not the only person who is deathly afraid of moths. Mind you, I'm very nearly as afraid of spiders, LOL. But if I were forced to choose, I will take the spider before the moth.

Jaime said...

I have an irrational fear of moths, too. Something about the flapping creeps me out.