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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (117)
  1. Joe smoe says:


    1. Dan says:

      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.

    2. Jersey Dave says:

      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.

    3. porchhound says:

      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.

      1. TheHymenator says:

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

      2. JV says:

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

      3. ExSophus says:

        @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?)

    4. MSumner34 says:

      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.

      1. JV says:

        OK fine enough

    5. RLABruce says:

      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.

      1. Dennis says:

        Believe me, they do.

  2. JoeShmo1979 says:

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

    1. sfperson2000 says:

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

      1. freecheese says:

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

      2. senator_kang says:

        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.

      3. Happydots says:

        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.

    2. Bill says:

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

      1. snuffy says:

        What’s it to you, bill?

  3. BOB says:

    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.

    1. sailordude says:

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

      1. BOB says:

        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!!!

      2. freecheese says:

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

      3. 4q2ok says:

        Would that bedroom be in your Mother’s basement?

      4. MSumner34 says:

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

      5. MSumner34 says:

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

    2. Scudbuster says:

      Bob = Chuck Norris

      1. BOB says:

        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!

    3. Shea says:

      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,


      1. keith says:

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

    4. Dennis Wuest says:

      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.

    5. Dad says:

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

      1. Josh Biggs says:

        i think that is the brown recluse spider that does that

      2. MSumner34 says:

        Josh is right. The brown recluse does destroy tissue.

    6. Josh Biggs says:

      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.

  4. Matthew Dunnyveg says:

    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.

    1. Jerry says:

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

      1. Bill in Houston says:

        But similar methods can be used. Fumigation!

    2. Hastalavista,baby says:

      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.

      1. Timothy Daniels says:

        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.

      2. Me says:

        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.

    3. Dan says:

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

      1. Rob says:

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

      2. Michael L. Hauschild says:

        I think both of you asking way too much.

      3. David says:

        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.

  5. levi506 says:

    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.

  6. Solar says:

    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.

    1. Fred says:

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

      1. Solar says:

        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.

      2. McGehee says:

        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.

    2. greg says:

      Yup, pretty lame. Yawn, ZZZZZ……

      1. DoDo says:

        It wasn’t photshopped. it is the WRONG spider! That is a RedBack Spider from Australia.

      2. Crazy_Redneck says:

        Yup. It’s absolutely Australia’s redback spider.

    3. twit says:

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

      1. Solar says:

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

    4. Bella says:

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

    5. Erik in Tehachapi says:

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

    6. Jon says:

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

    7. Josh Biggs says:

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

    8. ManOnPoint says:

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

  7. Vigilant Satyr says:

    Go lie somewhere else truther.

  8. Jerry says:

    Frank, did you forget to take your meds today?

  9. William says:

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

  10. Phil says:

    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.

  11. Lurker says:

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

    1. Lurkersaloser says:

      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…

  12. Solar says:

    What else would you expect from cBS? ( ;

  13. JJJ says:

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

  14. Trini says:

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

  15. Bill in Houston says:

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

  16. Iknowmystuff says:

    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.

    1. ProfShadow says:

      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!.

  17. Deadhead says:

    We are humanary stew…Alice Cooper was right

    1. old pootface says:

      ..these words he says are true!..

  18. Spudboy999 says:

    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.

  19. Errol says:

    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.

  20. Search Injun says:

    Occupy USS Michael Murphy

    “On a pony she named Wildfire…”

  21. ontie1 says:

    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.

  22. Search Injun says:

    Obama = Warmonger and assassin

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

  23. J in Pasadena says:

    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.

  24. elevenhundred says:

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

  25. AeroJack7 says:

    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.

  26. Erik in Tehachapi says:

    That’s not a black widow. It’s a redback spider. Perhaps you should change the photo.

  27. John Howard says:

    I would never find 48 black widows in anything, because I’d get as far away from it as possible after finding only two of them.

  28. walter12 says:

    Were the parts from China through the West Coast?

  29. Hank says:

    Those weren’t black widow spiders, they were democrats. I know, it’s hard to tell the difference.

    1. Chicago Jack says:

      Yea that’s a common problem in NYC and Chicago where dems are often confused with jumbo sized rats that look like albino skunks and weasels they’re so big and nasty…. 😉

  30. 'Nother-Son-O'-Ursus says:

    I’m a retired ‘ACLS-&-urban’ experienced paramedic.

    While a black-widow won’t necessarily kill you with the first-bite / exposure, I can absolutely guarantee that you will wish you DID die!
    Such a deal for American-boys & girls preparing to ship-out in support of the for-profit pillage-wars!!
    Me bad!
    …I guess I object to giving ‘multi-million-dollar’ military aid packages to S. Arabia; …From whence came M. Atta & his Merry-911-Pranksters!

  31. Bill Catz says:

    Too bad Redfield Gun Sight isn’t still around. They had a black widow farm and used the web for their scope reticles.

  32. Earl K. says:

    Why is this even a story? They are rarely lethal and these kinds of things happen. Nobody’s fault–move on. Treat the area and move on like good soldiers, or, sailors in this case.

  33. aboli says:

    Send them to china, They send us enough junk.

  34. Chicago Jack says:

    I’d like to see how many people at the originating address have connections to the OWS movement. WE ALL KNOW the left despises the Military and anything they do unless of course they locate a malcontent in the ranks who usually after much liberal glory turn out to be fabricators or outright liars about their service (AKA Jesse Macbeth and others) and thus would have motive to want to hurt someone building a Military ship.

    Sounds nutty? So does calling eco terrorists like the OWS movement patriots and simple first amendment exercising protesters or as the liberal rag Time calls “the man of the year”…..IDIOTS. And they wonder why subscriptions to arsenic are greater than that magazine

    They’re absolutely terrorists out on the west coast where they’ve put children on the railroad tracks to stop shipments which just happened today, GOOGLE IT, (Occupy Portland Mother Places 4-Year-Old Daughter On Train Tracks During Protest to Shut Down Port Politics) these people will do anything and usually things the rest of us wouldn’t ever contemplate much less do.

  35. Sunlover says:

    I am in New Mexico and I have noticed that young female black widows have white stripes on their backs. They still have the red hourglass on the underside. When they become mature and get bigger, they have the all black body. They all squish the same! Hate those things.

  36. Karel Eekels says:

    Right on Matthew, why not get the EPA involved on this subject matter?!

  37. Tangair says:

    This is just like California: They have agricultural checkpoints at every entry into the state because you might sneak a banana across into this fair state; however, they can send pestilence out no problem.

  38. pfm says:

    They are pretty much everywhere in the Los Angeles area check twice then proceed, my garage has at least a dozen of them

  39. Rod says:

    Agree not lethal, however if you have weak heart and or a baby then, yes they increase the venoms abilities to kill.. Refer Red Back Spider Australia dn Katipo Spider New Zealand and I also suspect that they are also in South Africa as well.. Rod

  40. Yarth says:

    Some of the Black Widows in California are so large they have beaks! Not fun going into the garage.

  41. Buck O'Fama says:

    Look at the bright side, all you got was poisonous spiders and not residents of California, even fumigation can’t cure stupid. Had they shipped you two dozen liberal idiots with the hardware, your state would have lost 60 IQ points, the ability to speak english and you would have been a welfare state overnight.

    1. Yarth says:

      Well, I live in California and couldn’t agree more. The evening entertainment for us folks in California is to climb into trees and play banjo duets.

  42. MadCharles says:

    You can’t exterminate Black Widow nest. The only way to kill them is step on them. You’ll find out in a month or two.

  43. zee says:

    … i should be Dead , but am a Survivor of 9 !!! hits of Black Widow venom … yes, it is some story, but not to tell now, so that’s re it from Michigan … Merry
    christmas etc to All _ may the New Year bring some Good to All as well…

  44. JV says:

    1 person died 300 years ago from fright. THe spider CAN’T kill you unless you have medical issues.

  45. ozzie says:

    the image you have is a red back spider… black widow spiders are all-black.

  46. Rocky says:

    Regarding the tade between Kalifornia and Maine.
    I live in the Barrio known as Los Angeles. Is it possible for the agent representing Kalifonia to sweeten the deal by throwing in the sleazy Mayor Tony V and the Neville Chamberlain of Law Enforcement, Police Chief Charlie Beck.
    Kalifornia can throw in some Avacado’s. Myself, being a transplanted Ct. Yankee, hate the things.

  47. ANIMALAURA says:

    They have been responsible for killing livestock in barns. And can ruin a cow’s milk production when they bite the source!

  48. PubliusFL says:

    In other news, a Marine at Camp Lejeune got three mosquito bites during a field exercise, and an Air Force personnelist at Dover AFB thinks that scurrying noise behind the wall in her office might be a mouse. This is news?

  49. fletcher says:

    This is the most danger the Navy has seen since 9-11.

  50. Wong says:

    “About two-dozen” spiders. On a navy warship. That’s an “infestation”?

  51. glnagrom says:

    That is a great photo of an Australian Redback spider. It is not a Black Widow. Black Widows always have a clearly defined hour glass shape on the underside of their abdomen, not on top.

    1. MSumner34 says:

      Great observation. I didn’t catch it. But you are right. Good eye.

  52. michael012 says:

    Well, anyone must be more scared of a brown widow spider than the black one since it is the most venomous of the five different types of widow spiders in the USA. Source:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s