And you thought you only had to worry about bananas infested with deadly spiders. Ha! Silly you, because now bunches of grapes are the new cool hangout spot for venomous critters, specifically Black Widow spiders. It’s the latest in extreme eating.
The Modern Farmer says there’s been a rash of Black Widow-in-grapes situations recently, with the little critters ambushing consumers from within the grapey embrace of the bunch.
So why is this now the thing for venomous creepers? It could be because farmers are trying to go green and wean themselves off pesticides. Spiders are natural bugeaters, so many farmers are trying to use them instead of chemicals to keep their crops safe. But once you put a spider on a plant, it’s not so easy to convince it to leave its home.
After three such surprise incidents back in 2002, a Tesco Supermarkets spokesman admitted it was probably due to this practice, saying: ”We do use natural predators on grapes in the vineyards because they prevent insects from puncturing the grapes. The spiders are very effective. All I can do is apologize for any distress this may have caused.”
But black widows aren’t the most helpful at patrolling produce because they like to eat cockroaches, crickets and other walking bugs, as one study points out, so perhaps it’s time to switch spiders.
Because the best way to get black widows out of grapes is to use pesticides, which would defeat the purpose of using spiders as natural pest controllers, it seems the best you can do now is just be careful.
Be your own spider inspector: Look closely at that bunch of grapes, especially right in the middle where the black widows like to burrow in and blend with darker grapes. While a black widow bite won’t kill you on the spot, it will send you to the hospital for a few days and make you wish you never bought those grapes in the first place.
Careful out there, folks. Don’t let spiders scare you from your snack of choice.
Venomous Spiders Are Hiding in Our Grapes [Modern Farmer]