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Woman Has Sour Grapes Over Black Widow In Her Produce

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Black widow spider. (CBS)

Black widow spider. (CBS)

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ROLLING MEADOWS (CBS) — It’s not unheard of to buy fruit or vegetables and find insects in the bag.

But it’s a little alarming when this creepy critter is a poisonous spider.

One Rolling Meadows woman spoke with CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman about her close encounter.

Maybe you can imagine Shelly Cline’s surprise when a big, black spider crawled out from the grapes she was washing.

Then she saw the telltale red mark.

Not taking any chances, the mother of two doused the home invader with water, but then it started crawling up the edge of the sink.

She reached under the sink for the bleach and poured it over the eight-legger, stunning it. She took a picture of it.

She trapped it and called the Arlington Heights store where she bought the grapes. She was assured that employees would inspect the grapes at the store that night.

A spokesperson for the store said the occasional black widow can find its way into fresh produce. An expert at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum agrees.

“They make unusual webs,” says Vincent Olivares, who has three black widows in his care.

He said the spiders aren’t deadly to humans or aggressive, but their venom could make a healthy adult sick with severe abdominal pain and body aches for about a week.

In rare cases, people who die from black widow bits are either small children, older folks or people whose immune systems are compromised, Olivares said.

Advice from the store: Wash your produce right away. Cline says gloves may not be a bad idea.

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