That’s enough to put you off strawberries for life! Stomach-churning microscopic footage reveals the creepy-crawlies hiding in your fruit
- When shown under a microscope, numerous tiny mites were seen on the fruit
- Strawberry mites and spider mites commonly live on the fruit’s surface
- While they may be gruesome, it is widely understood that they won’t harm you
Eating your strawberries alone? Think again.
Stomach-churning footage has shown a glimpse of the creepy-crawlies lurking in your fruit.
Twitter exploded this week after users saw the gruesome moment a strawberry was examined under a microscope.
In the close-up shot of just one side of the fruit, numerous tiny mites could be seen wriggling around on its surface.
The user who shared it said: ‘Are you having a good day today? I’m sorry for ruining it by posting this video of a strawberry under a microscope.’
When shown under a microscope, numerous tiny mites were seen wriggling all over the fruit
Strawberry mites and spider mites commonly live on the surface of this fruit. While they may be gruesome, it is widely understood that they won’t harm you
Should you be worried about the bugs on your fruit?
While gruesome, it is widely understood that consuming strawberry bugs is not harmful.
But, Drew Patterson, the culinary director of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explained that there are some things to worry about when it comes to produce.
He told Dailymail.com: ‘There’s always the risk when you buy something that grows in the ground or grows naturally that it could pick up dirt or sand or pebbles, so washing them under water can help get them out.
‘Of course, you can’t wash bacteria out with just water – you’d have to use soap. But you’ve at least mitigated your risk.’
Bacterial risks often lie in the hands of those who have picked the fruit without washing their hands after going to the toilet.
Ingesting bacteria could cause food-borne illnesses are found in fecal matter.
On watching the video, numerous commenters said they would think twice about eating unwashed strawberries again.
One user said: ‘I sometimes convince myself I can eat a single piece of fruit before washing it and uhh yeah this just ruined that now I’m having flashbacks of every time I ate a strawberry before washing it and I wanna cry.’
Another added: ‘This is why you wash your food!’
While gruesome, it is widely understood that consuming these bugs is not harmful.
Greg Loeb, an entomologist and professor at Cornell University previously told CNN: ‘If you’re eating fresh produce, you’re eating bugs.
‘But the real point is there are organisms on your fruit and even if it makes people uncomfortable, it’s definitely not going to hurt them. Eating those bugs won’t make you sick.’
Among the bugs are aptly named strawberry mites – pests only ever found on strawberries.
At just 0.25mm, these bugs often look like water droplets under the microscope as they curl up in the leaves, according to Vissers.
Spider mites are also one of the most common bugs to infest strawberry plants, often turning the leaves brown when feeding on their undersides.
Growing strawberries at a high temperature in overcrowded greenhouses can worsen the chance of a severe pest infestation, potentially resulting in plant deaths.
Yikes: TikTok user @31toni had a similar experience when she soaked her fresh strawberries in a bowl of salt water
Creepy crawly: One of the bugs on her strawberries appeared to be holding another bug
That is why The Royal Horticultural Society recommends regularly spraying plants with water to combat this.
Pesticides can also be considered as another option to deal with infestations.
The video comes after a strawberry-washing trend went viral on TikTok in 2020, as many realised that small worms and bugs crawl out of fruit when soaked in water.
For those in the US it was claimed that the worms were most likely ‘the larvae of Spotted Wing Drosophila’, according to the Cloud Mountain Farm Centre.
These are said to lay their eggs on fruit such as strawberries, cherries and blueberries before the larvae crawl out from inside.