Imagine going to the store, picking out your items, loading them in your car, driving them home, and unloading them -- all to find an unwanted stowaway was riding along with you the entire time. And that stowaway has a very painful bite. That's what happened to a Troy couple.
Kimberly and Steve Choley were shopping at Kroger at Big Beaver and John R. in Troy this week when it happened. They picked out a nice package of red grapes and then brought it home.
That was Thursday - as in almost a week ago. Wednesday morning, with the vine down to the last few grapes, Steve was at work when he got hungry. So he went to the fridge and grabbed the grapes, ready to finish them off. He pulled a few off the vine and chomped away. Then saw what he thought was a shriveled one.
He looked closer.
It was a Black Widow spider and it had been hanging on to the vine for quite some time. Steve said he thought the spider was asleep or dead until he started to try to get it out.
While most people would have panicked, Steve remained calm. First he snapped some photos of it inside the bag, then found a more permanent home for the Latrodectus: a jar with a lid, complete with air holes of course.
Steve said he usually doesn't rinse his grapes but he will now.
Brandon Barrow, a spokesman for Kroger said the grocery store will refund and replace the grapes. He also said that while finding a Black Widow isn't a common occurrence, many growers are using less insecticides due to customer demands which means more bugs get into produce.
He also said that some growers use insects to kill other insects that are harmful to produce but stressed he did not know if that was the case with these grapes.
Kroger said it encourages customers to bring back items they are having issues with and to thoroughly wash produce before consuming it.
Black Widow spiders pack a painful venom that can leave quite the mark on your skin. You may not want to Google it. However, they're rarely fatal.
So what happens to the spider? When we talked with Steve Wednesday evening, he had just stopped by Kroger and was heading home from work, with the spider in his front seat. He doesn't know what he's going to do with his new 'co-pilot'.