AUGUSTA, Maine –
A slew of complaints to the state health department over the last month has prompted officials to release a statement warning of possible contamination of pumpkins and gourds with a species of tiny, orange and grey spider.
“These spiders may be very hard to notice, as they often blend in very well with the insides of a pumpkin,” said health official Joe Goldsmith. “When you are carving your ornaments for the Halloween holiday, especially when doing so with children, please be extremely cautious of spiders.”
According to Channel 13 News Augusta, a Maine man was one of the first to experience these ‘tainted pumpkins.’
“My son and I were carving a pumpkin, and as I scooped in to remove the seeds, I felt something tickling my hand. I didn’t notice what it was at first, but as I scooped in again, the sensation got worse,” said Geoff Colbath, 31, of Augusta, Maine. “I looked, and there were hundreds of baby spiders crawling along my arm. We ended up burning that pumpkin, and every other one we got from the farm stand.”
Officials are trying to trace the origins of the spider to a specific location, but so far reports of spider-infested pumpkins have hit police and hospitals in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.