Pensioner's terror after three-inch live scorpion drops out bag of Aldi bananas

Linda Pollard was shocked when the potentially deadly creature dropped out the bag and scuttled across her kitchen top.

A pensioner has spoken of her terror at finding a live scorpion in a bag of pre-packed bananas for Aldi .

Linda Pollard was shocked when the three-inch long poisonous creature dropped out the bag and scuttled across her kitchen top.

The 67-year-old quickly trapped the scorpion - which has a poison that can cause heart attacks, hypertension or even death - under a glass at her home in Leicester.

She feared her five-year-old grandson Frazer, who was at her home that day, could be harmed by the scorpion, so she stayed in the kitchen all day to make sure it didn't escape.

Her postman son Andy, 40, had opened the plastic bag and taken a banana for breakfast when he got up for work at 5am.

Four hours later, Linda decided to put the remaining bananas in a fruit dish but the creature dropped out onto the work top.

She told the Leicester Mercury : “I thought it was big spider as it scuttled across the work top and behind the kettle.

“I grabbed a glass then realised it was a scorpion not a spider because I have seen pictures of them in magazines and on TV.

“I slammed the glass down and trapped it. I was absolutely terrified.

“I stayed in the kitchen until my son came home from work at 1.30pm.

"I told Frazer he mustn't go in there.

“I wanted to be there in case the scorpion somehow got out.

"I did not want that running around the house with my grandson here.”

When Andy got home Linda called the RSPCA who identified and took away the scorpion.

The RSPCA identified it as a Slender Brown scorpion which are common in Belize, Central America, where the bananas had come from.

They are classed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976 as poisonous with a sting like a bee that can cause pain, redness and swelling.

And in rare cases heart attacks, hypertension or even death.

Linda, a retired health worker, said: "I've been thinking the scorpion wasn't alone and another one is roaming round the house.

"Before I go to sleep I still look under the pillow and the bed and give the quilt a good shake.

Slender Brown Scorpion facts

  • Males can grow over 15cm but females are around 10cm long
  • Females give birth to litters of between 25-35 young
  • They live under rocks and on tree bark, but have been known to live under homes
  • They feed on insects
  • Predators include tarantulas
  • They cannot be kept as pets in the UK

"I won’t buy bananas in sealed bags again. I will stick to loose ones from the city market."

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but can naturally occur with fresh produce.

"We have apologised to Ms Pollard for any distress this may have caused.”

Andy said his mother had received a letter which did not even mention the scorpion and a £10 voucher.

He said: “I put my hand in there to grab a banana before work and could have been stung.

“I don’t think Aldi have taken this seriously.

“A £10 voucher is an insult. Any of us could have been made seriously ill.”

RSPCA Insp Richard Durant, who picked up the scorpion, said: “It’s not every day you see a scorpion emerging from your fruit bowl.

"It must have given the lady a real surprise.

"This little chap had stowed away in a bunch of bananas from Belize but I have been able to safely transfer him to an exotics specialist facility."

"They can grow to six inches, have a painful sting like a honey bee."

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