Eating fruit flies
Over the years, I dare say I've eaten a worm or two from home grown apples. I'm assuming I'm going to ingest a few fruit flies from my berry patch, now that they've moved into MN (haven't seen any yet, but my garden is small, I tend to pick as soon as stuff ripens, and I don't put up nets, so the birds eat their share, too--there's not much left to get over-ripe on the bushes). I pick off obvious pests before eating, but eggs laid inside, or very tiny bugs, may escape my detection. Are there any fruit crop insects that are currently hazardous to ingest? Just want to make sure I'm not eating some bug I really shouldn't. (Predation by me isn't a planned method of pest control....). Thanks for your time, Peg
Hennepin County Minnesota
I am not aware of any particular insects, larvae, or eggs that are harmful if digested (moderation being the key of course (lol)). As far as your berry pests there have been some questions about accidental consumption of the spotted wing drosophila. Here is the answer provided by another Master Gardener:
Prompt refrigeration or freezing of fruit upon harvest will reduce losses to disease and slow the development of any eggs or larvae present. Note that there is no known risk to human health posed by ingesting SWD, so as gross as it sounds, eating a few eggs or larvae is not hazardous and they are so small you won’t even know they are there.
The largest larvae are only 1/8 of an inch long and blend in easily with the seeds and white fibers of a raspberry. Smaller larvae are difficult to see, especially in a raspberry that is not fully ripe. The best way to check for SWD larvae is to place four or five ripe raspberries in a water and salt solution (one tablespoon salt per one cup of water) in a plastic zip bag. Gently crush the fruit to break the skin. Any larvae that are present will float to the surface. Infested raspberries typically have multiple larvae. Entire article , link below may be helpful.
I hope this is helpful.
-Sue W White SDSU Master Gardener Lawrence County