1. ITV Report

Black Widow spiders on Teesside

Black Widow spiders discovered at Teesside business Photo: Naturally Wild

Workers at a Teesside based business got a bit of shock this week when they discovered a number of Black Widow spiders.

The company, which does not want to be named, think the poisonous North American spiders may have hidden away in an industrial freight shipment.

Black Widow spiders on Teesside Credit: Naturally Wild

The Black Widow is a highly venomous species with a potent neurotoxic venom that is thought to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s.

They were recovered by Jack Fenwick, an ecologist with Naturally Wild Consultants in Guisborough.

He says that, while they hold enough venom to kill, not many people die from a Black Widow bite.

"Although fatalities from a Black Widow bite are rare, they are extremely painful and can cause acute muscle pains, nausea and paralysis of the diaphragm, making breathing difficult."

– Jack Fenwick, ecologist with Naturally Wild Consultants
Black Widow spiders recovered by experts on Teesside Credit: Naturally Wild

Naturally Wild hold a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and so were able to safely remove the spiders.

Black Widow spiders now under the watchful eyes of ecologists on Teesside Credit: Naturally Wild

Black Widow or Latrodectus females got their name because they frequently eat their male partners after mating.