Interesting Research on What Attracts Navel Orangeworm to Pistachios
“We really want to know what it is about the hull of the pistachio, that pink skin outside the nutshell that attracts navel orangeworm,” said Ferguson. “Why the female, the navel orange worm wants to lay her eggs on that nut and when. And, we're trying to focus on the quality of the hull, “ she said.
And there's a team working on this and they're all UC Davis. She said the team is working in cooperation with Houston Wilson and entomologist based at Kearney Agricultural Center. We are working on the biology and the control of the navel orangeworm. So they're doing very detailed experiments on the growth and development of the nut and how it's reflected in the hull of the pistachio.
Ferguson said that the whole purpose of an insect's life is to reproduce and survive.
“The female navel orangeworm is not going to lay her eggs on a nut that cannot support the survival of the egg. So we're trying to figure out what it is about the hull that signals the status of the nut that says, okay, you can lay your eggs here and they will successfully hatch and the larvae.