Spiders Hiding in Your Fruit
A lot of the fruit we buy at our local grocery stores actually travel a long way to get to us. Sometimes a few stowaways get included in the shipments of fruit we get from places like South America and the United Kingdom. While these hitchhikers might scare the daylights out of us when one happens to come with our bananas or bunch of grapes, experts say that for the most part these little surprises are nothing to get too worried about. Of course, most humans do tend to flip out when they find a spider clinging to their banana in the morning. These extreme reactions can have pretty bad consequences such as people evacuating their homes and grocery stores having to get rid of entire shipments of fruit produce. But, with a little more knowledge, we could probably avoid such disastrous effects.
One main reason people get so freaked out when they find a spider has been hanging out in their fruit is that we tend to immediately assume that the spider is a Brazilian wandering spider, a decidedly dangerous spider known for being aggressive and very toxic. This is sometimes the case, as these spiders have been known to hang out on bananas and sometimes end up in our kitchen. However, for the most part, it is simply a case of mistaken identity, and that spider you find is harmless.
You are much more likely to find spiders like the pantropical huntsmen spiders emerging from your fruit, particularly bananas. They look terrifying with their big bodies and long legs. They are easily identified by the white moustache markings on them, though. Another common hitchhiking spider is the red-faced banana spider. Very rarely do people actually find a venomous Brazilian wandering spider in their fruit. But, the economic consequences that can happen when people report finding dangerous spiders in their food can be devastating to the companies sending us their delicious fruit. Before you freak out next time you find a spider hitching a ride on your banana and call the local hospital or newspaper, trap the spider and take a minute to make sure you’ve correctly identified it. Most likely, you’ll find that there is no actual emergency and it’s simply another case of having to get rid of a spider you’ve found in your home.
Have you ever found a spider in your fruit? What kind of spider was it and how did you react?