A poisonous spider gave a warehouse worker “the shock of a lifetime” after opening a crate of plumbing supplies only to find it had stowed inside for a 6,500 mile trip.
The wasp spider – known to have a painful bite – hitchhiked from its home in Sihanoukville, Cambodia to a warehouse in Manchester after getting stuck in the cash register.
The 3cm-long spider, which was said to have been starved after not eating for five weeks, was taken away by environmental health workers and then returned to the stunned warehouse manager.
Warehouse manager Lloyd Metz (pictured left) was shocked after discovering a wasp spider that had stowed away in a crate of plumbing supplies for a 6,500 mile trip from Cambodia to Manchester
Lloyd Metz, a warehouse manager for Grafton Merchanting, was at work when he saw something “sparkling” and discovered the spider hidden in a crate.
The 43-year-old said: “As I opened the checkout I saw something shining and shining in the sun near the top corner and realized it was a huge canvas. .
âThen I spotted the huge spider sitting there and it gave me the shock of my life. I’m generally not afraid of spiders but I could tell right away that this one was different.
âIt had strange yellow and black markings and was a lot bigger than anything I’ve seen in the UK before. The canvas was really thick.
He added: “Considering the warehouse is full of big guys, it was funny to see them all running a mile from this spider – no one dared approach it.”
But the arachnid’s journeys didn’t end there – and she was soon traveling with a Devon “bug man”, but not until first spending a week in a take-out box.
The spider hitchhiked from its home in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, to a warehouse in Manchester
The spider – now named Jolene – was taken in at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in Devon
Mr. Metz had put the spider in a take-out box and kept it on his desk while he wondered what to do with the new member of his team – now named Jolene.
Environmental health workers came to pick it up, but then brought it back to Mr. Metz, explaining that it was not a species they would exterminate.
Fearing the creature would die without food, Lloyd tried to feed it a selection of woodlice, but only wanted to escape.
Four days later, Gareth Thomas, of Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in Ilfracombe, Devon, made the 550 mile round trip to retrieve the spider, so it can be transferred to their Bug World.
Mr Metz added: âI was really happy to say goodbye to her because it was a little strange to have such a scary spider on my desk for so long and I thought she would die from not eating.
Considering the warehouse is full of fat guys, it was funny to see them all running a mile from this spider – no one dared approach it
âI was afraid to open the box because every time I did, she would try to rush and she was very, very fast. I didn’t want to risk her jumping on me because given where the crate was coming from, I knew it was an exotic spider and who knows what her bite could do.
Mr Thomas said that a wasp spider bite is generally only comparable to a bee sting, although it can induce anaphylactic shock in people with allergies, which can be fatal.
However, he added that you are more likely to die from a cow attack than to be bitten by a spider.
He added: âJolene is settling in well and seems very happy with her new home. She is a very impressive example of a wasp spider and has some striking colors on her abdomen.
âShe was very skinny when we greeted her, which was not surprising not having eaten for at least five weeks. But now she has eaten a few grasshoppers and she has become nice and plump, which is good to see.
âIts bright colors and size have caught the attention of some of the children who visit it, which is great because it is positive to get children interested in insects. They are very interesting and important creatures but often overlooked, so Jolene does a good job here. ‘
Gareth, who has worked in the wildlife park for three years, thinks Jolene may have entered the crate looking for a place to put a nest, so he suspects she may be pregnant.
The wasp spider: colorful creatures with a bite like a bee sting
The Wasp Spider is a very large spider that stands out for its colorful appearance.
It gets its name from the yellow, black and white stripes on its large abdomen.
The female is yellow and black with a large white stripe; males are small and pale brown.
They are commonly found in the Middle East and Asia and usually eat moths, grasshoppers caught in their webs, which they prowl at “lightning” speed.
Wasp spiders are rare in the UK, but there have been a number of sightings in the South East.
To kill her prey, the female of the species wraps flies and other small silk insects before biting them. This bite paralyzes the prey and begins to dissolve the proteins in their body.
a wasp spider bite IS generally comparable to a bee sting, although it can induce anaphylactic shock in people with allergies, which can be fatal.