Toronto man finds dime-sized black widow spider in fridge crisper

Toronto public affairs consultant Brett James got quite a surprise this week when he reached into his fridge for some grapes.

TORONTO — Toronto public affairs consultant Brett James got quite a surprise this week when he reached into his fridge for some grapes.

A spider about the size of a dime was in the crisper and he confirmed it was a black widow with a little computer research.

Using a paper towel, he scooped up the arachnid, and is now hoping to find it a home at the zoo or the Royal Ontario Museum.

Museum entomologist Antonia Guidotti says it’s not unusual for a black widow to travel north on a bunch of grapes.

She says a man donated a black widow two weeks ago to the museum after finding it in his fruit.

Guidotti says black widows don’t go out of their way to bite people, but do so if you’re “rubbing against it or disturbing its web.”

Looking at a photo, she said she couldn’t tell if James’ spider was a relatively harmless male, or a highly venomous female.

In July, a woman in Oakville, Ont., was hospitalized after she was bitten on the hand by a black widow in her garden.

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