Are my apricots safe to eat?

Asked July 21, 2016, 12:43 PM EDT

I put my picked apricots in a clean bowl. The bowl now has little white rice looking bugs at the bottom. They have obviously come out of the apricots. If I would have opened the apricot and found these bugs inside, I would have thrown the apricot away. If the bug left the apricot is it now safe to eat? I am finding so many of these little white bugs in all of my apricots. Some are so small that I could easily miss them or confuse them for the stringlike strands in the apricot. Do they all have some stage of the bug?? Even ones I didn't think at first had the bug I see that there is a tiny one deep inside the apricots. Should I toss them all? Should I assume they are fine I don't see a bug?

Salt Lake County Utah

1 Response

Those are fly larvae (maggots) of the walnut husk fly. http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/walnut-husk-fly.pdf. They usually attack walnuts, but can also target apricots that are nearby.

There can be various sizes/ages of larvae in your apricots because the adult fly lay eggs on the fruit over a period of several weeks. The more mature ones are the ones that are emerging. So yes, there can be smaller ones inside a normal looking apricot.

I will leave it up to you to determine what to do. You could slice the apricots and remove any larvae you see. They are still edible. I'm sure there are some that do not have any larvae inside them, but there is usually no indication on the outside of the fruit to know if there is a larva inside.