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4th black widow spider found in GTA

A Mississauga man made a surprising and potentially deadly discovery at his home this week — a black widow spider dangling beside a broom in his garage.

Latest specimen turns up in Mississauga winemaker's garage

A Mississauga, Ont., man made a surprising and potentially deadly discovery at his home this week — a black widow spider dangling beside a broom in his garage.

Winemaker Tony Nicoletti said he recognized the spider from recent news reports, and he instantly spotted the telltale red marking on the arachnid's bottom.

It was the fourth time since September that a winemaker in the GTA has found a black widow spider.

"It freaked me out, seeing it, especially when it turned into a ball," Nicoletti said in an interview with CBC News. "I knocked it down. It turned into a ball, and you couldn't see it, and it's like, 'Where did it go?'"

Nicoletti quickly found the spider again and carefully scooped it up in a jar, where it still lives.

Black widow spiders are believed to bite only when threatened. But if one does attack, the venom can be deadly.

Nicoletti said he believes his spider came with a crate of California grapes he bought in Hamilton and left in the garage.

Last month, two black widows were found in Woodbridge and a third in Newmarket.

Thirty black widow spider incidents have been reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in the past 10 years. Authorities say it's not a cause for concern because there's no infestation.

Nicoletti said he contacted health officials about his spider, but they told him there was nothing they could do and it was up to him to dispose of it.

Family, friends and even neighbours have told Nicoletti to get rid of his spider, but he won't.

"I can't kill it," he said. "I'm not going to step on it."

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