Skip to main content

Navel Orangeworm

Navel orangeworm (NOW) is the primary insect pest of almonds in California. It poses a high risk to an almond crop because the worms bore into the nut and feed on the nutmeat. Not only is the nut damaged, but the feeding opens the door to Aspergillus molds, which can produce aflatoxins, a food safety contaminant.

Monitoring for Navel Orangeworm

Responsible almond farming requires protecting the crop and trees from pests, weeds, and disease through an integrated pest management approach. When it comes to NOW, the first step is monitoring pest levels. This video provides an unbiased review of NOW monitoring tools growers may consider as part of their greater IPM program.

Monitoring Tools for NOW

Minimizing Navel Orangeworm Damage.

Growers should follow a four step IPM program to minimize navel orangeworm damage and risk of aflatoxin:

  • Winter sanitation to remove and destroy mummy nuts

  • Use of mating disruption

  • Monitoring of NOW populations and timing of adult NOW moth flights to time use of insecticides or biological control agents

  • Prompt harvest before a third generation of NOW develops

Navel Orangeworm Mating Disruption

Navel orangeworm (NOW) is the leading pest of almonds in California. The Almond Board has been funding research on NOW for more than four decades, working to address the management needs of growers and PCA’s. Two fundamental components of a sound integrated pest management program for NOW are trapping and monitoring, and the deployment of mating disruption. Trapping and monitoring allows for tracking of NOW populations in an orchard, while mating disruption reduces the population size throughout the growing season. This resource provides an overview of tools for NOW mating disruption.

Navel Orangeworm Mating Disruption Overview

This video provides an unbiased review of NOW mating disruption technologies growers may consider as part of their greater IPM program.

Mating Disruption Tools for NOW

The Mummy Shake, Reimagined

To help remind growers to reduce NOW populations (first principle of NOW IPM) by removing their overwintering habitat -  mummy nuts -  the Almond Board of California (ABC) has carried out The Mummy Shake contest where participants created a sanitation-themed video to a remixed version of the song Monster Mash.

ABC is putting a new spin on the contest, making it a lyrics-rewrite competition of any popular holiday song – think Jingle Bell Rock, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and Up on the Housetop. So gather around with friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday and get creative. Rules and application details are below.

  • Rewrite a minimum of one verse and chorus of any popular holiday song.
  • Lyrics must be winter sanitation-themed and help serve as a reminder of the importance of the practice.
  • Entries have the chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card. 
  • Eligible entries must be entered before Friday, December 17.
  • The winning entry will be announced at the beginning of the new year.
  • Lyrics can be submitted by emailing Taylor Hillman.

ABC's annual Mummy Shake Contest encourages California almond industry members to grab their family and get creative over the holiday season. So what are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing and learn more about the contest and how to enter at

Navel Orangeworm (NOW) Summit.

In June 2019, the Almond Board of California, in collaboration with the Pistachio and Walnut Research Boards, hosted the first joint Navel Orangeworm (NOW) Summit. The event provided growers, processors, shippers and government agencies an opportunity to discuss the continued economic impact of Navel Orangeworm (NOW) on almond, pistachio and walnut production and marketing. Solutions to NOW pest management were discussed and on-site vendors proved additional information about their management products.

Session One: How Much Does NOW Damage Cost?
Session Two: Join the Less Than 1% (Damage) Club!
Session Three: Won’t you be my Neighbor?
Session Four: What do we do Next?

In addition to navel orangeworm, almonds are subject to an array of insect and mite pests, including peach twig borer, San Jose scale and web-spinning mites. Information on these pests may be found on the UC IPM website: click on ‘Agricultural Pests,’ then ‘Almonds.’