A deadly black widow spider was found lurking in crates in Scotland.

Black widow spider

Black widow spider

The poisonous beast was spotted in boxes near Aberdeenshire, after the cheeky arachnid had travelled from across the Atlantic.

The creature had to be killed as it could not be ''re-homed'' safely.

Black widow spider venom is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake and can cause cramps and fever, but their bites are rarely fatal as they only release small amounts of poison at a time.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: ''We can confirm we were alerted to a black widow after it was found in a crate from America.

''Bites from the black widow can be dangerous to humans and can cause severe muscle pain and muscle spasms.

''There is nowhere in Scotland to safely re-home it, and we could not keep it in our centre due to severe health and safety concerns.''

The red-backed spider is native to the US and can live for up to two years.