SouthCoast Cranberry Bogs May Be Hiding These Spiders
Cranberries are an important part of the economy here on the SouthCoast. There are bogs all around us, growing the berries that we enjoy in juices, breads, salads and in cranberry sauce.
However, there’s something else in those bogs that you probably never gave much thought to before: spiders.
Of course there are spiders in cranberry bogs. Why wouldn’t there be? There are spiders all over the SouthCoast, so why would a bog be any different? Especially when you consider how many other pests might be in the bogs for them to feast upon.
A TikTok content creator named Michael McBride, who runs the account @idea.soup, recently shared his Top 10 TikToks of 2022, and his number one video of the year was about wolf spiders being used in cranberry bogs to control pests.
In his video, he refers to another video discussing bog spiders and also refers to a Tumblr thread where a person who claims to know someone who formerly was a cranberry farmer and who said they “encouraged” wolf spiders to live in the bogs and help with the pests.
This person claimed they were told that the spiders would climb all over cranberry harvesters as they tried to escape the flooded bogs, covering the workers up to their eyebrows.
That idea was echoed in an online story in which a blogger visited a Carver bog and had wolf spiders crawling all over her, even getting into her hair.
Wolf spiders, while venomous, do not bite unless provoked, and even then, it’s not poisonous to humans. It’ll probably just develop into an itchy little bump that goes away after a bit.
While McBride’s video only suggests that wolf spiders are working in cranberry bogs to eat other insects that may destroy the crops, internet lore has evolved that idea into cranberry producers intentionally bringing wolf spiders to their bogs to help in the battle of the bugs.
We reached out to three of the biggest cranberry growers around the SouthCoast to find out if they use wolf spiders to control other pests on the bogs.
The only person who got back in touch with us was Linda Burke, spokesperson for AD Makepeace.
“No, this is not something we do,” she said.
We can only guess by the lack of a response that both Decas Cranberry and Ocean Spray have had their offices overrun by wolf spiders, who as you probably know are notoriously bad at returning calls and emails.