Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Make Sure a Black Widow Isn't in Your Christmas Tree from H-E-B 

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
If you're getting your holiday decorations from H-E-B, you might want to check that nothing extra is coming home with you. Like, say, a venomous spider.

A man almost did just that when purchasing a small Christmas tree from the 300 W. Olmos Drive location on Tuesday. Paul Stephen noticed the spider on the tree's branches and snapped a picture.

He didn't end up buying that specific tree, and good thing. Stephen later learned that the spider was actually a black widow.

Dya Campos, a spokesperson for H-E-B, told that trees are delivered to stores within 48 hours of being chopped down, which often means that natural elements like these come along for the ride.

"It's wise to shake out insects while shaking out the needles before putting a tree in a house. Similar to, in Texas we are accustom to shake out our boots before putting them on," she wrote in an email.

David Ragsdale, head of the Entomology department at Texas A&M University, told that although the venom is toxic, being bit by a black widow isn't lethal. It takes some time for the spider to pierce human skin, and even then most people are large enough that the venom won't have a tragic effect on us.

That's comforting, considering how common black widows are in Texas. Just to be safe, be sure to inspect your tree before setting it up at home.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation