What should be done with shipping containers that venomous spiders hitched a ride in from South America?
We first told you about the discovery of the Brazilian wandering spider last week. The spider’s venom is highly poisonous and the spider packs a painful bite. It can also grow to a leg span of five inches.
Inspectors with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered the spiders in two containers in a shipment from Brazil. One of the spiders was turned in to the state Department of Agriculture while the other was killed on the spot.
The containers themselves sit in a storage lot off of Lagoon Drive, sealed and under quarantine.
KHON2 discovered Selective Stone LLC brought in the containers filled with granite and flagstone. It’s the state’s largest importer of granite, quartz and other stone products.
Co-owner Kevin Nip told KHON2 that the company in Brazil was not willing to take back its stone products.
“They feel that it should be standard procedure here in the state of Hawaii where we should be able to fumigate the containers,” he said. “Because they very well know they should be fumigated here as well as there.”
In a written statement, the state Department of Agriculture told KHON2:
“There is no pesticide that has label instructions for treatment of Brazilian wandering spiders. So there is no way that anyone can determine that any pesticide will kill this particular spider and its eggs. Therefore, the shipment remains quarantined and will not be opened in Hawaii. We will continue to work with the company to have the shipment sent out of state.”
Nip said the material in the containers “was about 70 percent sold, so that is definitely a loss of business if these containers have to be returned.”
“Secondly, we had to pay $12,000 in sea freight to bring them here and we will have to pay $7,000 to send them back to Brazil,” he added.