HumansNutrition

Why do apples sometimes have worms?

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When we see a drawing of an apple, it often has a worm coming out of it! But it doesn't seem like the right place for a worm is inside of an apple, does it?!

Believe it or not, the reason why apples and worms are often shown together is because worms are one of the primary pests that attack apples! A pest is an insect or other creature that destroys crops, meaning plants we grow for food. When it comes to apples, the codling moth and apple maggot (which both live as worms during certain stages of life) are two of the most common pests farmers deal with.

Unfortunately, the apples that codling moths and apple maggots infest are usually not edible. The reason these insects attack the apples is that they like to eat them too! The fruit gives these insects a place to lay their eggs and something to eat as they grow into their adult form, which leaves holes in the apples.

Luckily, farmers and apple-tree owners have lots of choices available for keeping these insects away that don't harm the apple or the environment! Orchards don't sell apples that they believe have been attacked by worms, so if you want to enjoy this delicious fruit, it's unlikely you'll ever find anything but the apple's natural seeds inside!

Exploration

Growing it!

Do you grow any plants at home, either in pots on your windowsill or in the backyard? What kinds of plants do you grow?Ask the grown-ups in your home if you can try planting some seeds for things to eat! Herbs like basil, mint, and parsley all tend to grow very easily (and quickly!) and don't need much space. Track the progress of your seeds at least once every week. How long does it take for them to first sprout? How long until they're an inch big? What about two inches? After just a few weeks, you'll probably be able to snip some out of the pot and use it to help your family make dinner!