The last place anyone would probably want to find a worm is inside the food they were about to put inside their bodies. As a follow up to our previous article on the same subject, this article will cover specifically worms you can find in your fruit.
Firstly, we will deal with the green fruitworm. ‘Green fruitworm’ is technically an umbrella term for several species of fruitworms, but given that they all share similar appearances (green body with blue and/or white spots, with a length of up to 1.5-inches) and behavior, most farmers who have to deal with this pest don’t bother distinguishing them. Their status as pests comes from the wide variety of plants that host these caterpillars, as well as the amount of damage they cause. Green fruitworms typically infest deciduous trees, and will feed on the leaves and fruit that grow on them. The fruit that they can often be found inside, munching away, are peaches, apples, plums and pears. The worms can be difficult to deal with, especially given that their eggs are deposited directly on the tree bark, forcing many farmers to resort to pesticides to control infestations.
Secondly, we come to the plum curculio. Otherwise known as the snout beetle, this little critter can cause extensive damage to fruit trees, being known to eat their way through various stone fruits such as plums, peaches and nectarines, though they will also eat apples, pears and many other fruits. Both the adults and larvae of this creature wreak havoc on fruit farms, making this pest especially irritating to deal with. If farmers thought green fruitworms were difficult to deal with, they have likely not dealt with the plum curculio. These beetles do not just lay their eggs on the trees, but directly inside the fruit, going so far as to carve out spaces for their egg deposits. Upon hatching, the larvae (which are only 1/3-inch in length, legless and gray in color, with a brown head) eat their way through the fruit until they come out the other side, leaving a clean exit hole. The adult beetle will also eat on the surface of the fruit and misshape the fruit that way. In addition to this, not to be rude toward the plum curculio, but the mature beetle is not the prettiest of sights, so finding one of these on one’s fruit could likely be a frightening experience.
Finally, we have the apple maggot, which is probably the most famous of all the fruit pests. Otherwise known as the railroad worm, this is the worm that one is most likely to find still inside an apple after picking one off a tree. Unlike the first two worms, the apple maggot does not leave obvious traces of its presence in the apple — besides perhaps a small mark — and they are often discovered after biting into the apple, and sometimes the worm itself. Yikes. Additionally, the worms are a light, cream color and are incredibly tiny, measuring a mere 1/2-inch! We have actually covered the apple maggot previously in an article targeted specifically at worms one can find in apples.
To conclude, this has been a short overview of some of the worms one can find in their fruit. We hope that none of our readers have the misfortune of finding any worms in their fruit, but that if they do, they treat them with respect and put them outside. Of course, if someone happens to swallow a worm, then there’s not much to do about that, and it is unlikely to have any ill effect.
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.