Video of a Strawberry Under a Microscope Will Make Sure You Never Forget to Wash the Fruit Ever Again

Close Up View of a Strawberry

Photo: bloodua/Depositphotos

Strawberries are in season, but the next time you pop one in your mouth, you'll want to ensure it's washed thoroughly—especially after seeing what you can find on its surface. In a recent video posted to Twitter, a slice of strawberry is placed under a microscope, and the subsequent closeup shows what appear to be small bugs crawling all across it. So, could it really be that delicious strawberries have microscopic bugs all over them?

While it remains to be seen if the Twitter footage is completely unaltered, there certainly are bugs that live on—and lay eggs in—strawberries. The phenomenon drew attention in 2020 due to a TikTok trend about using a vinegar and salt wash to draw larvae out of the fruit. While not all strawberries will contain larvae, it was confirmed that spotted wing drosophilas actually lay their eggs inside of strawberries. This can then cause the appearance of bugs or of larvae when the fruit is placed in the vinegar and salt mixture for a period of time.

“This species is able to make a very fine incision that can’t be seen with a naked eye and lays its eggs in there,” shares entomologist Sriyanka Lahiri. “When the picker gets the fruit, they can’t even see that there’s an egg because it’s deep in the fruit. That’s why it escapes detection, and it’s not possible to detect that a fruit has been infested.”

But before you start throwing away your strawberries, just know that there is no evidence that ingesting the pests that crawl on strawberries will cause any harm. Lahiri is quick to remind us that completely eradicating all insects from fruits and vegetables is nearly impossible without the increased use of pesticides. So, just remember to thoroughly wash your fruit before eating and take heart in knowing that these tiny insects aren't harmful.

A video on Twitter reveals what is really happening on the surface of a strawberry.

While it's not clear if the footage has been altered, there are several videos on YouTube that also show insects.

This isn't the first time microscopic views of strawberries have trended. In 2020, a TikTok trend also showed why washing strawberries is important.

One common pest found on strawberries is the spotted wing drosophila, which lays its microscopic eggs inside sweet ripe fruit.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Photo: Martin Hauser Phycus via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0 DE)

Luckily, these insects aren't harmful if consumed, but their presence is just another reason to thoroughly wash your fruit.

Woman Washing Strawberries in Kitchen

Photo: Feverpitch/Depositphotos

h/t: [IFL Science!]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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