Woman Finds Deadly Spider and Egg Sac in Box of Grapes

A woman has found a deadly, venomous spider and its egg sac lurking in a box of grapes in Australia.

After buying the grapes from a Coles supermarket, New South Wales resident Natasha Thomson opened the pack to find a redback spider resting on the stem, the Mail Online reported. Further down the stem, Thomson spotted the spider's eggs.

The food shop had been delivered to Thomson's home in Labrador, Queensland, when she made the discovery, she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The redback spider, also known as the Australian black widow, is a highly venomous spider found across Australia, Southeast Asia and New Zealand.

They are considered among the most poisonous arachnids on Earth and are closely related to the black widow spider found in the United States.

The redback spider is easily differentiated from the black widow, as it has an orangey-red stripe on its back.

Redback spider
A stock photo shows a redback spider and its egg sack. The spider had been lurking on the stem of some recently bought grapes. AlexWang_AU/Getty Images

Only the female spiders have a dangerous bite. The venom can cause illness in humans and it has caused deaths. However, this is very rare. The last death caused by the species was reported in 1979. An effective antivenom was introduced in 1956.

The deadly spiders have been found in packs of grapes before. They can sneak onto the fruit in fields, and accidentally end up packaged.

Fruit is usually sprayed with pesticide, a substance used to get rid of bugs and pests before it is sold. Generally, if a spider is found lurking in the grapes, it means the fruit has not been sprayed as thoroughly.

This incident comes after a Sydney resident, Phil Bonjovi, found another redback hiding in a box of grapes bought from Woolworths.

Talking to 9News, Bonjovi said his wife put the box "straight out of the front door" when she saw it, as she's "not a big fan of spiders."

This incident came just days before a flurry of redbacks were found in packages of grapes throughout the north of Sydney.

Woolworths-run grocery stores across Australia apologized to the Bonjovi couple at the time. They said they were not the only fresh fruit supplier impacted by rogue spiders such as redbacks entering retail produce.

Redback spiders favor dry habitats and are often found in close proximity to populated areas. They build their webs in sheltered sites among shrubs and rocks, and sometimes toilets.

The spiders are more commonly seen in the summer months, as this is their breeding season, with bites being more common in the summer. Around 250 bites from the spiders need anitvenom treatment each year in Australia.