Arachnophobic pest controller faced black widow in Norfolk

A pest-control expert had to confront his arachnophobia to remove a venomous female black widow spider and her eggs from a Norfolk business. Staff at the unnamed company near Great Yarmouth called pest controllers for help saying they had trapped "a nasty looking spider" under a glass tumbler. The spider was removed and about 100 spiderlings hatched on Wednesday.

Ian Parkinson, 45, from Gorleston, said: "I really don't like spiders so I was a bit shaky." The former Royal Navy mine clearer added: "She was quite actively crawling round the glass and I had to coax her into one of our insect jars while making sure not to get bitten. The egg sack only hatched this morning - I turned around and saw black widow spiders crawling around the container.

"We can't keep them and we can't risk them escaping so we've been advised by the zoo community to euthanise them by freezing." It is thought the spider had arrived in a load of crates from Texas. A pesticide was used to kill any other spiders at the location. Mr Parkinson has feared spiders since he was a child and as part of "self-help" therapy had a spider tattooed on his arm.

He said: "The tattoo was my own way of dealing with them as it's not good for a grown man to scream at a spider. I regret it now, but that's why it's there. The black widow was my ultimate challenge. It was a really big thing for me and I'm really proud I did it. It was the perfect way to conquer my fear.". The female black widow spider is about 1.5in (38mm) long and can live up to three years in the wild.