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10th Aug 2023

Supermarket closes after outbreak of spiders whose bite causes ‘permanent erections’

Steve Hopkins

It often hides in bunches of bananas

A supermarket had to be evacuated after a banana-loving spider capable of causing men to get permanent erections was spotted.

A store manager at The Penny shop, in Krems an der Donau, saw the creepy crawly on Tuesday.

Emergency services were called to the store, 45 miles west of Vienna, and warned the intruder could be a Brazilian Wandering Spider. The four-inch black and red arachnid is known to reach Europe by hiding in bunches of bananas.

It is known as one of the planet’s most venomous spiders, and bites can be fatal after causing hypothermia, blurred vision, convulsions and, in some cases, erections.

MailOnline noted that the spider’s venom is being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments after it was found that a bite can give male victims a painful four-hour erection.

Banana crates in the store have been sealed and an exterminator called, but reports suggest the store may remain closed into next week.

The Mail quoted a spokesman for the Rewe retail group as saying that “comprehensive cleaning and disinfection measures” are being undertaken ahead of the store reopening.

Despite extensive searches, no spiders have been found at the store.

The size and colouring of the “unidentifiable” spider led authorities to believe it was a Brazilian Wandering Spider.

Some 4,000 people are bitten by the Wandering Spider each year, with 0.5 per cent of bites leading to death.

The Brazilian Wandering spider is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most venomous arachnid.

Its scientific name – Phoneutria – is Greek for “murderess”.

They are known as the wandering spider because they do not build webs and patrol the jungle floor at night for victims.

In 2021, the Mail noted that taxi driver Joe Stein found one of the spiders among a bunch of bananas purchased from a Sainsbury’s in West Wickham, Bromley.

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