Workers at Aerfin in Gatwick had a shock when they found the 4cm north American black widow spider in a box of aeroplane parts.
Staff member Rob Green carefully coaxed the spider - now nicknamed Nadia - into a plastic tub and called the RSPCA for help.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock finding her in the box. She must’ve been in there for quite a while as the box was packaged up in Arizona back in December and arrived over here in July. She has done very well to survive that long in there.
“I saw her and realised she wasn’t a normal spider from the UK - but it wasn’t until I saw the red spot on her abdomen that alarm bells rang and we looked up what she was.
“We weren’t frightened as I think there have been hardly any deaths from these spider bites - and Nadia was fine. We popped her in the box and called the RSPCA for help.”
Inspector Tony Woodley was called to the depot on Friday and moved the spider to Drusillas Park, in East Sussex for specialist care.
An eight-legged beast - reported to be Britain's biggest spider - has been found in a back garden in Kent
Whitstable DJ Matthew Field was astonished to see the spider.
Wildlife experts have identified it as a Segestria Florentina - also known as the tube web spider. It preys on the feared False Widow and is the largest species found in the UK - up to five inches in diameter.
"It startled me," Mr Field said. "It definitely wasn't happy to be disturbed."
The spiders are not considered dangerous - although they can bite.
You may have enjoyed the summer - the weather on the whole, was great - but, like many good things, there's a trade-off. Spiders! Yes, it means our eight-legged friends have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate. Experts say we should prepare for a spider invasion. Sally Simmonds reports.
In case you missed it yesterday, here's a repeat of that photo that thrilled many - and sent others scurrying under their beds!
This "giant spider" was seen on the M3 motorway in Hampshire. Thankfully though it's not really an enormous arachnid just a trick of the eye as the normal sized creepy crawled onto the lens of a travel camera.
We think it deserves to be a huge web hit!
AAAAAGH.....look away now if you don't like spiders. Seriously, they are helping with a breakthrough in medical science. Sally Simmonds reports,