Caroline Bagshaw, 29,from Nuneaton, explains how she fled her creepy-crawly home!
Navigating my way around the kitchen, I was making packed lunches for my boys Jayson, 5, and Joshua, 2.
‘We’ll be off soon,’ I called to the boys, who were in the next room.
It was August this year and we’d planned a day out with their pals. As I went to break off a banana from the bunch, I noticed something small tumble out.
Freezing, I bottled up a scream as I didn’t want to panic the boys. All I could do was stare at it…
Motionless, its hideous legs were squashed up against its body, making it look around the same size as a 50p piece.
I gathered the courage to look closer, and saw that it didn’t look like any spider
I’d seen before. It was lightly coloured, a kind of tan brown.
I grabbed a Tupperware box, put it over the still critter and it didn’t move an inch.
It must be dead, I thought.
But looking at the bunch of bananas, I was horrified to see a webbed, sac-type nest in them! Did that mean more spiders?
Disgusted, I used the container and a bit of cardboard to scoop up the dead spider, wrapping it and the bananas in several plastic bags before taking it to the bin.
Then I remembered something that made me feel sick. I’d bought those bananas from the supermarket the day before…those beasts had been in my house for over 24 hours!
‘We won’t be able to go out today,’ I told the boys.
While I scrubbed the whole kitchen with bleach and hot water, I binned all the food.
I called my partner Adrian, 29, to tell him what’d happened, too.
‘Are you serious?’ he asked.
After alerting the supermarket, I got in touch with the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary and spoke to Geoff Grewcock. He was over within half an hour.
I brought the spider back in.
‘It looks like it could be a Brazilian wandering spider,’ Geoff told me, examining it.
‘It must’ve travelled over in the bananas from Colombia.’
Geoff explained that this particular creepy-crawly was aggressive, extremely venomous, and one of the deadliest spiders in the world.
It’s so nasty that a bite can cause death within just two hours!
He also said that there were definitely babies and eggs in the rest of the bananas.
‘They tend to stay together,’ he said. ‘But I’d get the house fumigated, just in case any wandered off.’
Geoff took photos and got in touch with the supermarket, too. I booked a fumigation team that specialised in spiders.
We went to my friend’s house while they worked. Once we could go back in, Adrian and I aired the place out, plus scrubbed everything down again, just to be safe.
I think the supermarket should pay the £150 for the fumigation, but they want written evidence of the spider’s species first.
Even though Geoff sent the spider to specialists for testing, and has been in touch with the shop himself, we’re still waiting to learn exactly what this little monster was.
What if one of my children had been bitten? Or eaten something that was contaminated?
Now I finally feel safe in my own home again, but I go bananas even when I see a common, harmless spider.
And from now on, I’ll always be checking any fruit before it goes into the trolley!