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H-E-B Releases Statement on Black Widow in Christmas Decorations

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“Sometimes when you’re shopping for a photo prop Christmas tree in the HEB parking lot you find a black widow instead,” Paul Stephen, a reporter with the San Antonio Express-News, tweeted and Instagrammed on Tuesday along with a photo of a black widow spider looming in a Christmas tree. Obviously, the post was alarming to those who plan on picking up holiday decorations soon, and the tweet eventually reached H-E-B officials.

Now, MySA.com reports that an H-E-B spokesperson has made a statement neither confirming nor denying the discovery that took place at the San Antonio H-E-B located at 300 W. Olmos Drive. “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 accustomed to shaking out our boots before putting them on,” the spokesperson said in an email, also noting that the trees come straight from being chopped down, so they could easily still have insects on them.

MySA.com also writes that Texas A&M University entomologist Allen Knutson confirmed that the spider does appear to be a black widow. “These spiders can be found in a wide variety of locations, including trees and shrubbery,” he told the news.