Black Widow Spiders Found on Grapes

Venomous spiders have been found on grapes in several states

Black widow spiders have recently been found on grapes in at least four states.

Every once in a while a worm is found in an apple or a slug on one's organic spinach. It can be a bit disconcerting for the entomophobes of the world, but bugs happen sometimes. This week, though, a woman was rattled when she found a live black widow spider in a package of grapes she had purchased at the supermarket.

According to the Huffington Post, Yvonne Whalen of Pennsylvania was washing her grapes in her sink Thursday when she saw a long, black leg creep out at her. She screamed and jumped away, and when she got a better look the spider she noticed the telltale red hourglass mark on its abdomen. A bug expert later confirmed that it was indeed a black widow spider.

The same thing has happened in at least four states recently.

Not long before Whalen found her spider, a man in Michigan found a live black widow in a bag of grapes from his local Kroger store. At the beginning of the month, Aldi pulled its entire stock of grapes off the shelves in Milwaukee after a customer found a live black widow in a carton of grapes in one store in that area. According to Food Safety News, two black widow spiders were found in packages of red grapes at an Aldi in St. Louis in October, and one was reportedly found in a school in September.


Black widows like to build their webs in grape vineyards, so it makes sense that they would occasionally wind up on grapes. They are the most venomous spider in North America, and their bite can be fatal, especially to children and the elderly. They are not normally aggressive, but they will bite in self-defense.