Short Answer: If you accidentally eat a navel orangeworm, you may get sick from the bacteria, fungi, or allergens it contains.
Navel orangeworm is a type of snout moth that is endemic to the tropical Western Hemisphere, including the southern United States.
It is a pest of several crops, such as almonds, figs, pistachios, and walnuts.
The larvae of navel orangeworm feed on the nuts and produce webbing and frass, which can also lead to fungal infections.
If you accidentally eat a navel orangeworm, you may experience some gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
This is because it may contain bacteria or fungi that are harmful to humans, or allergens that can trigger an immune response.
Navel orangeworm can also affect the taste and quality of the nuts it infests.
It is quite uncommon to eat a navel orangeworm, as they are usually removed during the processing and sorting of the nuts.
However, some may escape detection and end up in the final product.
You can reduce the risk of eating a navel orangeworm by inspecting the nuts before consuming them, and discarding any that look damaged or contaminated.
If you do eat a navel orangeworm and feel sick, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
To avoid accidental eating of navel orangeworm, farmers and growers should implement effective pest management practices, such as sanitation, early harvest, and insecticide treatments.
These can help reduce the population and damage of navel orangeworm in the orchards and fields.
Finally, remember, navel orangeworm is not a food item, but a pest that can ruin your nuts and your health.
Always check your nuts before you eat them, and enjoy them safely.