Maria Layton, 43, says ‘Tesco were a bit useless’ when she found a Brazilian Wandering Spider – the most deadly in the world – in a bunch of shop bought bananas
A mother was scared stiff after opening a bunch of supermarket bananas and finding rare spiders whose bite can give a man a painful four-hour erection.
Maria Layton, 43, spotted the arachnids after opening the bag of yellow fruit she bought from Tesco.
She found the bananas, shipped from Costa Rica, were infested with eggs from the Brazilian Wandering Spider – the most deadly in the world.
As soon as she discovered the cocoon they started to hatch so she quickly put them in a sealed container in the freezer and called Tesco customer services.
The species is deadly and its venom can kill a human in just two hours – but can also give male victims a four-hour erection.
The banana with spider egg cocoon, found by shopper Maria Layton (SWNS)
Its venom is currently being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments.
Mother-of-two Ms Layton went to open the bag for her eldest daughter Siri, six, but noticed there was something funny on the side of one of the bananas.
The full-time mother said: “My husband bought the bananas from Tesco, they had been in the house a whole day before I ripped the bag open.
“Siri asked for a banana. The first banana had a funny bit on it, so I got another one for her and that was when I found the massive spider cocoon.
“There was a spider web on the other bananas too.
• Giant spiders in your home
“I recognised it because I remembered seeing a news story about them, so when I saw the cocoon it rang a bell and I thought I should check it so I googled it.
“I went through the images and there was an image which looked very similar to mine.
“I was so scared – I don’t like spiders at the best of times, but have read about the Brazilian Wandering Spiders – and was very frightened about the potential threat.
“The spider cocoon started to unfurl so I put it in a sealed box and put it in the freezer as I read that that is supposed to kill them.
“I’m glad it was me rather than Siri that opened the bananas, I think the spiders are more likely to bite small children rather than older people.”
The Brazilian Wandering Spider are mainly active during the night, and walk across the jungle floor.
But during the day they hide inside banana plants hence the nickname “banana spider”.
Shocked by her discovery, and the threat to her and her children – Siri, six, and Phoebe, three, Ms Layton contacted Tesco customer services.
Tesco said she should bring the bananas, deadly spiders and all, back to the store so that the bar code could be scanned and her money refunded.
Ms Layton said: “Tesco were a bit useless, I was really concerned about the possibility of this dangerous spider and spider eggs in my house and really wanted some helpful advice on how to act.
“I wasn’t sure if other spiders or eggs had escaped when I ripped the bag open.
“I posted the picture on Tesco Facebook page and they told me to send the wrapper in so they could get the bar-code to refund me.
“I was shocked, they failed to see the potential threat to me and my family and thought I was only interested in having a pound or so back.
“I called Food Standards but they said it wasn’t anything to do with them, I called Trading Standards but they were shut.
“I spent an hour-and-a-half ringing round trying to get some help – while I had this potentially killer spider in the house.”
A spokesperson for Tesco said: “Our policy is for the customer to take the product to the store where it can be investigated.
“We don’t have a service whereby someone can go out to the home.”