Black Widow Spiders Infest Navy Warship

BATH, Maine (AP) – A Navy shipbuilder in Maine says it had to fumigate a warehouse and part of a warship because a shipment of parts from the West Coast contained about two-dozen venomous black widow spiders.

Bath Iron Works employees discovered the arachnids in a crate containing vertical launch system components. Spokesman Jim DeMartini said Tuesday the discovery led to the fumigation of several compartments in the USS Michael Murphy, a destroyer that’s under construction. A warehouse in Brunswick also was fumigated.

DeMartini says the spiders were discovered earlier this month. The shipyard is confident exterminators eliminated any spiders that weren’t stomped.

Black widows aren’t found in Maine but are found in California, where the shipment originated. The females are known for their distinctive hourglass marking and their potentially lethal bite.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Joe smoe


    • MSumner34

      Pop any manhole open and you usually can find one solitary widow. They are territorial and do not like to share space. Gloves are the best protection. Although I have people I work with who avoid killing anything, these are one species I kill as often as I can. I’d rather see them and kill them instead of over looking them and they kill me.

      • JV

        OK fine enough

    • RLABruce

      Aircraft carriers are the size of a small city. I’d be surprised if they don’t have spiders as well as mice and rats.

      • Dennis

        Believe me, they do.

    • Jersey Dave

      Yeah make sure there is absolutely no electricity in California, that will turn the economy there around….

      They should allow new power plants ot be built and older ones to be overhauled and modernized, but that has been the last thing on the mind of California’s state gov’t for the last couple decades. Hence the problem.

    • Dan

      I’ll support it as long as you are going to pay my electric bill. Don’t you clueless idiots have some work to do instead of trying to force up utility rates? You’re just a fool if you think that solar or wind is what we can actually use.

    • porchhound

      I have been bitten twice on the hand and all it did was make a knot where the venom was encapsulated. As long as I didn’t press on that knot I didn’t have any symptoms. I can’t imagine anyone in good health dying from one of their bites.

      • TheHymenator

        I died from one of their bites and I was healthy….

      • JV

        NOt all that bad. Glad to see you are still kickin…lol

      • ExSophus

        @TheHymenator…Are you SURE you’re still alive?

        Maybe you should double-check with the ‘Medium’ or Mr. ‘I see dead people’ Bruce Willis.

        (meanwhile, tens of thousands of Black Widow spiders (and other critters) arrived in Maine with shipments from other states…I wonder how much it cost the taxpayer to fumigate for a handful of virtually never so-called “lethal” spiders that wouldn’t survive a Maine winter?)

  • JoeShmo1979

    Sabotage against the Navy brought to you by wack job Kalifornian Liberals.

    • Bill

      What’s your address? -Bill, in Los Angeles.

      • snuffy

        What’s it to you, bill?

    • sfperson2000

      Nah — Black Widow spiders are everywhere in California. Many homes have them in their garage.

      • senator_kang

        Yeah, they’re in Texas, too. I’ve ran into a couple over the years. They won’t kill an adult, but will make you sick. Their bite has killed children, before, especially if undiagnosed, but it is very rarely fatal.

      • freecheese

        they are not”lethat” but will make you sick as hell.

      • Happydots

        Actually they CAN and DO kill. It’s not something to take lightly. Pain and sickness and death << all a result of a black widow spider. Does it happen often? No, but to say they don't kill is foolish and naive. And I'm from East Texas. I'm more afraid of the brown recluses.

  • BOB

    Big deal, the Maine winter would have taken care of them anyway, and I live in Southern Colorado and have killed dozens of Black Widows in and around my home, including my bedroom which is in the basement. If you do not mess with them, they leave you alone, and even if you get bit by one, you will spend an hour or two at the Hospital. Brown Recluse’s are another story, they are like flesh eating bacteria when they bite you.

    • sailordude

      Wow! You sound really tough! I bet you bite black widows, they don’t bite you!

      • MSumner34

        The Black Widow has a venom that destroys tissue as it infiltrates the blood stream. The damage done is iireversible.

      • MSumner34

        The Black Widow has a venom that destroys tissue as it infiltrates the blood stream. The damage done is iireversible.

      • JV


      • 4q2ok

        Would that bedroom be in your Mother’s basement?

      • freecheese

        What the f++k were you — a Big Bad yeoman, tough sailor-squid?

      • BOB

        Sailordude, Thats pretty good, can you come up with some more interesting things to keep me occupied at work for the next few hours as it is a really slow day at the office today, PLEASE!!!

    • Scudbuster

      Bob = Chuck Norris

      • BOB

        42qok, I would love to be able to live in my Mothers basement, that would mean she is still alive and not another statistic in the fight against Cancer. But you go ahead and pat yourself on the back for picking that extremely low lying fruit. But I will bet that it is you that is living in Mommies basement, as I had already stated I am at work, goofing off, but still at the my office, not McDonalds, or OWS!

    • Shea

      Sidebar – there are 9 different Brown Recluse’s and only one causes the necrosis you see in severe bites. The ones in Colorado will just cause a minor skin irritation. Wikipedia has a map of the most lethal ones… they are in the south.

      Colorado native,


      • keith

        don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia….25-50% of it is bad information considering anyone and everyone can update the pages….

    • Dennis Wuest

      True. Brown Recluse will rot your flesh for a year. My wife got bit by one and we thought it would never heal. It turned into a sore the size of a big tomato.

    • Dad

      Yes, they won’t kill ya! They just ROT your flesh from your body! That won’t hurt…much!

      • MSumner34

        Josh is right. The brown recluse does destroy tissue.

      • Josh Biggs

        i think that is the brown recluse spider that does that

    • Josh Biggs

      Actually we have Black Widows here in Colorado as well… They hide indoors during the winter months. The Maine winter won’t kill them off.

  • Matthew Dunnyveg

    I’m not quite sure why this is a story. I live in an area with lots of black widows and brown recluses, and bites are very rare. It’s a matter of keeping your wits about you and not putting your hands in places you can’t see into.

    In any case, I’d much rather deal with the spiders than the oppressive, totalitarian liberal governments that plague the northeast in particular. Spiders can be avoided.

    • Hastalavista,baby

      Makes you wonder how long those crates were sitting outside before shipping. Certainly, the parts were not recently manufactured as it takes a while for black widows to take up residence. I own a pest control company in Texas and it took several months for black widows to infest the rodent traps we placed outside a warehouse in the middle of the summer.

      • Me

        I had a PC company in TX also, had the same rodent boxes around a warehouse, took less than a week to have one in almost 60 of the 100 I put around the building, including brown widows.

      • Timothy Daniels

        I worked for an aerospace company in SoCal many years ago. The widows would take up residence in our reusable shipping boxes. They were probably living in there when the parts were packed.

        They wouldn’t have survived the winter in Maine nor shipboard conditions for long. Their food source would be absent.

    • Jerry

      Spiders can be exterminated. The matter of liberal governments is much more difficult

      • Bill in Houston

        But similar methods can be used. Fumigation!

    • Dan

      I live in Maine. I would gladly trade anybody Senators Snowe and Collins for a tractor trailer full of Black Widow spiders.

      • Rob

        I will gladly trade you Boxer and Feinstein for Snowe and Collins and I’ll throw in a box of spiders to boot.

      • Michael L. Hauschild

        I think both of you asking way too much.

      • David

        Yes a trade for Snowe and Collins for Black Widon Spiders would be a good deal, However, you would be getting the better end of it. At least you know what Black widow Spider will do.

  • levi506

    If you’d been talking about the bite of a liberal politician, I might agree that the bite could be lethal. but the Black widow spider? Been bitten at least a couple of times and other then a slight rash at the bite spot and feeling like you have the flu for a couple of days you’re fine. My wife was bitten o the neck and went to the doctor, but most people don’t. I was in Idaho, dead of winter, one was climbing up the wall. Came in with the lettuce. Big deal. Really searching hard for a story.

  • Solar

    Did anyone else notice the pic was photoshopped?
    The hour glass is located on the belly of the spider, not its back, as depicted in the picture.

    • Erik in Tehachapi

      It’s not photoshopped. it is of the wrong kind of spider. That is a redback, not a black widow.

    • Jon

      The picture is not photoshopped. Instead, it is a stock photo of the Australian Redback spider (also poisonous).

    • twit

      I think the spider in the picture is an Australian Red Back.

      • Solar

        You got it right twit, I looked up Australian red backs and found the exact same pic as shown above.

    • greg

      Yup, pretty lame. Yawn, ZZZZZ……

    • Fred

      Photoshop? Maybe, but I’ve seen some that have markings on the back as well as the belly

      • Solar

        I have lived with these things for the last 60 years and not one ever had it anywhere other than the belly.
        Look it up, they are always on the belly, nowhere else.

      • McGehee

        A couple of years ago I killed one on the wall of my shed about 25 miles SW of Atlanta. It had the red on its back. Admittedly, it was the first I’d ever seen like that, but that only means they’re rare, not that they’re impossible.

    • Bella

      Glad you pointed that out, I was just going to.

    • hcool

      Very sharp!

    • Paul

      You are correct.

    • Josh Biggs

      Black widows as far as I have ever seen have the hour glass on the stomach

    • ManOnPoint

      It looks like Barney “I have a c@ck in my mouth” Franks with his red @$$ in the air waiting for a good boning!!!

  • Vigilant Satyr

    Go lie somewhere else truther.

  • Jerry

    Frank, did you forget to take your meds today?

  • William

    You do realize that book is fiction, and not very good fiction at that. Don’t you?

  • Phil

    The ones with a red hourglass on their backs are called redbacks. They are a cousin of the black widow and are found in Australia. They have been shipped to other places , however. They are very poisonous. They can kill. I have seen a few where I work in Kalifornia.
    I do agree that politicians are more deadly than black widows…. especially in Kalifornia.

  • Lurker

    They were in the VLS system? Seems like launching a Standard would take care of the problem.

    • Lurkersaloser

      oooh aren;t we the expert – STFU – it doesn’t say they were itn eh VLS you dope it says they were introduced in the craets that conatine dthe VLS parts. They could have been anywhere in the ship from the “bathtub” to the “goat locker” to the “mess deck” to “dry stores” to the “bilge” see I can name parts of a ship as well…

  • Solar

    What else would you expect from cBS? ( ;

  • JJJ

    That’s what happens when nobody keeps an eye on Nancy Pelosi.

  • Trini

    Exterminating black females? You’ve come a long way, Baby.

  • Bill in Houston

    I think someone missed his electroshock, didn’t he? Poor widdle angwee boy

  • Iknowmystuff

    In Florida we have Northern Black Widow, Southern Black Widow, Brown Widow, Brown Recluse, Mediterranean Recluse, and Chilean Recluse. Point is, we are not freaking out.

    • ProfShadow

      And don’t forget all those transplanted “Northern Widows” in South Florida (ba-dum!)

      Florida, where we have bugs that will hurt you and bugs that won’t. But we definitely have bugs!.

  • Deadhead

    We are humanary stew…Alice Cooper was right

    • old pootface

      ..these words he says are true!..

  • Spudboy999

    Mr. Nice Guy,
    So are you saying that anyone whom said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction is a liar? You don’t seem to remember that many Democrats said this before Bush was even elected. Such as: “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998. or “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998. or “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. or “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.
    I could post more, but perhaps now you get the point? But most probably not, since Dimocrats only know how to repeat the lies they have been told, but not how to research facts and evidence before forming their own opinion. Of course Dimocrats believe that people don’t need to form their own opinions, just blindly follow what ever they have been told by an elected official.

  • Errol

    While working at NASA in California, we would find and kill an average of one per week. Always in the labs, usually behind a door or under a desk. Mini-skirts were the fashion of the day too. Nobody was ever bitten as far as I know.
    Now, I live in Florida and have to deal with rattle snakes and gators on a daily basis. You get to the point that don’t fear them after awhile.

  • Search Injun

    Occupy USS Michael Murphy

    “On a pony she named Wildfire…”

  • ontie1

    From the headlines one might have thought the ship was over run with black female survivors of african descent…then I thought, Nah couldn’t be.

  • Search Injun

    Obama = Warmonger and assassin

    Hero of the Left — Of the Left, by the Left and for the Left

  • J in Pasadena

    You guys are lucky you don’t have Brown Widow spiders! They recently arrived in L.A. from South Africa and are driving out the Black Widow from its natural habitat locally. Their venom is said to be 6 times more potent than the Black Widow, though adult spiders usuall inject less than their black cousins.

    Another thing, that “stock” photo of a Black Widow is faked. It’s taken from the top and the red hourglass is on the bottom of the spider. Someone Photoshopped it onto the image. You guys should come to my home near Los Angeles. In summer months I can walk outside and meet 30 Black Widows at dusk. Ever crawled under a ’67 Mustang and had a Black Widow staring you in the face from the left side of the transmission bell housing? You will learn to move real fast.

  • elevenhundred

    Hey, there has to be some risks for the tin can jockeys.

  • AeroJack7

    Black widow spiders are virtually everywhere in the Inland Empire of SoCal. I find them in my house routinely (and I have a very clean house). Getting bit is no big deal unless you are allergic. I will take black widows over mosquitos any day of the week.

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