The navel orangeworm (NOW) is the primary pest of California's 800,000 acres of almonds, reducing yield and increasing processing costs. NOW females lay their eggs in the mummified nuts. The larvae consume most of the nut meats and produce large amounts of webbing and frass.

The research team included Pingxi Xu, Elizabeth Atungulu, Zain Syed, Young-Moo Choo, Diogo Vidal Caio Zitelli and Leal from the UC Davis lab, and Stephen Garczynski of the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, Wash, an ARS/USDA lab. Syed is now with the University of Notre Dame.

Their work drew grant support from the National Science Foundation;  National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA; National Institutes of Health; and the Washington Tree Fruit Commission  In addition, two of the researchers,  Vidal and Zitelli, from Brazil, gained financial support from  CAPES undergraduate scholarships. CAPES ( Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior)  is an organization within the Ministry of Education in Brazil.