Nuts – BEWARE!

I love nuts.  I love them alone, in salads, encrusted on foods, blended with other ingredients as in pestos and just about anyway you can think of.  The only nut I’m not fond of on their own are walnuts.  I think they taste dry.

Over the past few years though I’ve encountered some problems with nuts.  I thought I had blogged about it before but apparently not.  After reading a friends blog the other day it prompted me to share my findings with you.

Several years ago I purchased raw pecans from The Wine and Cheese Place in St Louis.  A favorite place of mine to get wine, cheese and fresh nuts.  I’ve never had an issue with anything there as I’m sure you’ll agree if you’ve ever shopped there.  However, what happened was out of their control although a disclosure statement would have been helpful.

I purchased the pecans around the holidays to make a large batch of my candied pecans to give as gifts.  I made several batches but had some left over that I kept in my cupboard for a week or two.

I happen to be out running errands and my husband called to say that the cabinet containing the pecans was covered with maggots and bugs and they were coming from the bag of pecans.  I was on my way home and when I arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes.

When I spoke to the gal at The Wine & Cheese Place she told me that all raw nuts harbor insect eggs.  If left raw after a certain period of time the eggs will hatch.  If you eat the nuts prior to the eggs hatching, the acid in your stomach will kill them, so you never see these bugs.  I nearly vomited after hearing that.  How disgusting!  I immediately went online to verify and found several sites that mentioned insect eggs on nuts.  This is one of them.

I could have avoided this calamity had I put the nuts in the freezer or cooked all of them.  Too bad I didn’t find this out sooner.  A warning or instructions with the nuts would have been helpful!

Has this ever happened to you?

Another incident occurred 4 weeks ago while vacationing in the mountains of Colorado.  I purchased almonds on sale at the City Market grocery store that came from a local producer.

Upon arriving home, I ate a handful of almonds and one of them tasted rancid so I tossed the bag out.    Later that afternoon and for the next 3 days I was so sick I couldn’t even stand up.

After doing research I found this to be a common occurrence among almonds.  The clue should have been that they were on special and packaged in zip lock baggies.  Blue Diamond shares important information about maximizing the shelf life of almonds that I found useful the next time I decide to purchase them.

The majority of nuts are said to be heart healthy which besides loving them makes them more attractive.  Some offer greater benefits than others but overall they’re said to help lower your LDL, low-density lipoprotein or “bad,” cholesterol level in your blood, they’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, contain fiber and Vitamin E along with a host of other benefits.  Yet, caution must still be taken.

(photo from Frieda’s)

My most recent revelation was when Dianne blogged about pine nuts, a nut I use often especially when making pesto. She came down with “pine mouth”.  I’ve never heard of or experienced this however, it appears the key factor here as well as other nuts, is quality.  Rather than purchasing on sale or inexpensive nuts it’s best to splurge, for safety and quality.  If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!

Buyer beware!  Next time you decide to purchase some nuts it’s best to do a bit of research.

Have you encountered a negative experience after purchasing nuts?  If so, please share it with us, so that we can all become better consumers!

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  1. These are great tips! I keep most of the nuts I buy in the freezer- they’re so expensive I try to keep them where they’re the least likely to spoil! When I forage pecans, I try to crack them as soon as possible and then freeze them, because I’ve had problems before with worms in them. Eeeww. And pine nut mouth? I had it a year and a half ago and I haven’t eaten a pine nut since. I bought them at a reputable grocery store, and they weren’t the “cheap” ones either. I had a horrible soapy taste in my mouth for about ten days. The only good thing was that I lost a few pounds because the taste was worse when I ate. 🙂

  2. Oh heavens, worms! That’s revolting. Were your nuts still in the shell or out of the shell? It just takes one time for something like that to happen and you’re sure to take every precaution the next time.

    That’s a great idea to make it a habit to forage through them but sometimes it’s difficult to tell. The almond I ate looked and felt just like the others but maybe I didn’t look close enough. I will next time.

    However even with the pine nuts you ate, it’s just not always that easy to tell. Maybe a sniff test might help! Sorry you had to go through that. I can’t imagine losing my taste for 10 days, that must have been rough.

    Thanks for your post.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Great tips thank you! I just love pistachios and hazelnuts my favorite!!

  5. Sorry the message left before I finish I hit the wrong thing. Anyway, I have seen worms in pistachios and they were canned. I now have always refrigerated them. Some I have used after a year old and still just as fresh as the day i bought them tasting, hopefully they will never make me sick but I dont use almonds much and pinenuts by the tiniest bag and use the same day… thanks again sorry you got so sick
    🙁 !

  6. Wow – I have to say that’s shocking! I never knew that! Nuts don’t last long at our house and I always freeze raw nuts…. I’m glad I do! This post is something everyone should read!

  7. Hi Ann,

    Typically nuts don’t last long at my house either but on that one instance I had bought a large batch and didn’t use it all. Who would have known. However, based on some other posts apparently it’s common.

    Please feel free to pass this on or forward to your friends.

    Thank you for your post!

  8. Even I freeze raw nuts…but, let me tell you, this is a great post…something which we all should be knowing. Thanks!

  9. I learned my lesson. I usually use them up so quickly it’s never been an issue, until that time. Live and Learn.

    Thank you for your post Purabi Naha!

  10. Oh my god – I never knew this either! Usually the nuts I buy are already roasted so I probably wouldn’t have a problem, but I will definitely keep this in mind if I decide to buy any raw ones.

  11. I recently ate some Fisher Pecan Halves that let my mouth feeling weirdly coated with dust and extremely dry.  Soon I came down with a respiratory infection that i assumed was moutain cedar allergy or a viral cold.  Terrible cough for one week that is better now at ten days out but still there.  I stumbled onto reading and realized its no cedar allergy or viral cold that hit me; instead i have indeed been POISONED by aflatoxn from bad pecans!  Then last night SUDDENLY I noticed a painful weird irritation/pain far in the back of my mouth and tongue.  Today the pain persisted and when I finally bothered to look into my mouth i was stunned to see a red inflamed knot the size of a nickel on my right side submandibular (the soft tissue beyond my last moler approaching my throat).  Upon further reading today my suspicion of aflatoxin poisoning from the bad Fisher pecans was absolutely confirmed because such toxins are known to not only leave the dry dusty feeling in my mouth, respiratory illness with congested persistent cough…but also to further infects these glands!  I’m seeking medical attention asap.  This illness is NOT due to a food allergy, it is due to POISONING from dangerous fungi.  Read-up on it…it’s obvious that food industry pushes the public’s blind acceptance of food-borne illness as being caused by ALLERGIES when actually these illnesses, that can be deadly, are caused by extremely dangerous POISONINGS from all kinds of mycotoxins from molds, fungi, bacteria in TAINTED FOOD.  Read up on our food supply in our supermarkets and you too will soon learn that the vast majority of foods on the shelves, processed or not, are not just unhealthy choices but actually choices that contain toxins that are known carcinogens and killing us.  Believe me, only the uninformed and find nancially-challenged are continuing to mindlessly feed from the crap sold to us in our industrial supermarkets.  There are other sources for REAL FOOD worthy of consumption but unf the vast majority of society cannot afford the HIGH DEMAND COMMODITY that is safe old-fashioned real nutritious food.   DO NOT EAT SOY…IT IS NOT A PLANT MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.  Read-up on SOY LECITHIN…it is a byproduct of industry with no nutritional value or purpose…but instead of incurring any cost for proper disposal of it…you will find it is instead added as an “ingredient” in the vast majority of food “product” sold to us for our consumption…then OUR BODIES “silently” dispose of this waste product for “free.”  But at what real cost to us?  My eyes are wide open now after this POISONING.  Damn, I splurged $11 on that bag of Fisher pecans thinking I landed on a healthy snack…now I’m completely turned off of all nuts after all my recent reading…even peanut butter!   Want to lose weight?  Read-up on MYCOTOXINS in food because you’ll lose your appetite.

    • It is frightening isn’t it? Thank you for sharing this, I’ll take a look at the things you mentioned. Sorry for just now seeing this. There’s a lot of things we aren’t aware of when it comes to eating. Growing our own food is probably to best way to know what’s actually in it. Then of course who knows what’s in the soil. Just be a good consumer and read what you can – I suppose!

    • Preach! Amen! I hear you loud and clear… I just learned about Lectins in our foods. The food industry do not care about our health and there causing all types of sickness and diseases. We eating foods that are affecting our health and the FDA continue to allow the foods to be contaminated.

  12. I have this bag pf organic walnuts and have been eating them on salads. I noticed hair looking things on the walnuts inside the bag. I am truely trippin. I thought this happend one other time with a previous bag. What the hell are these things?

    • Rodents probably! Apparently it’s unavoidable so it’s best to buy them roasted, roast them when you get home or place them in the freezer which would all kill any eggs, etc.

  13. I have consumed nuts (Almonds, Cashews, English Walnuts, Pecans etc) by the pounds I will go through about 10 lbs a month. I usually buy the Blue Diamond branded Almonds, Fisher Branded Pecans, and then Planters mixed nuts without peanuts. I found that a few pecans had dropped down to the floor under my big comfy chair that rarely gets moved and we found worms all over the remains of several almonds! I estimate they were there for maybe 2 months. Ewwww! We cleaned up the mess and sprayed the rug to kill any remaining eggs.

    My question is: Can I Microwave the nuts prior to me mixing them together to kill any eggs in the nuts as I don’t have room in the freezer to freeze them? Anyone who can answer this I welcome all comments.

    • I would put them in a skillet and roast them. However I believe the Blue Diamond are already roasted so maybe those that fell under your sofa just attracted something from the outdoors that came in and found them to nibble on.

  14. I ask the Lord to bless the ingredients on the food l eat, you never know what’s in the food, even fresh food when I’m saying grace and blessings at mealtimes and smack times (when l remember).

  15. OK just ate a whole walnut full of larvae and no one talks about if it’s safe or not because I ate it long time ago so no point on puking. All I want to know if there is any dangers on eating them. So gross I’m literally tripping ballz. Now my belly is making weird continuous vibrations. Must be the weedbutter I used to cook my omelettes this morning.

  16. Recently I found tiny insects/worms? in mixed, unsalted nuts from Costco. They had been roasted. I have been eating these for the health benefit-now I cannot fathom eating nuts again! They had been kept sealed in my pantry. The creepy crawlers we found in a small sealed plastic container I had in my car. My question? Was the larvae in the nuts all along g and then hatched from the I tense heat in the car (souther summet)

    • What I was told is that all nuts have insects and yes the larve will hatch if not put in the freezer. However typically if the nuts have been roasted that shouldn’t be an issue. It’s when the nuts are raw. It took me a year before I ate nuts again but now I just stash them in the freezer. It’s so disgusting! Thank you for commenting. I hope you browse my site. Have a great weekend!

    • Yes apparently that would be the case. They can only hatch when warm, if put in the freezer they die. If eaten immediately the acid in your stomach will kill them. Sickening I know. I didn’t eat nuts after that for a long time. Now i’m eating them again but purchase smaller amounts or place them in the freezer upon purchase.

    • I was gifted salted cashews for Christmas; within a week after beginning eating them, I developed a pinworm infestation.

  17. I just purchased 3 pounds of pecans from a co-worker, who has trees on her property. I attempted to try a few today and noticed the bugs. I’m not sure how to address the issue. I was planning on baking with these for my family but now I’ll be throwing them in the trash but I need to make sure I don’t spread the bugs. UGH! I don’t do bugs at all.

    • Just be sure you seal the bag up well and toss them outside. Apparently if you roast them immediately or put them in the freezer that shouldn’t happen. Isn’t it awful? So sorry that happened to you too. Have you thought of mentioning it to her or just letting it go?

  18. I had a similar experience. I had purchased raw brazil nuts on sale at a former Woolworth outlet that were in a paper bag. When I got home I poured myself a beverage and sat down and put two in my mouth. I noticed a slightly salty taste but didn’t thing anything of it and ate them. I put two more nuts in my mouth and these felt a little slimy to me but didn’t notice anything. I then started looking at all the nuts in the bag and noticed maggots on them. I almost puked. From now on I am only buying nuts from a reputable store and I am making sure that no nuts go in my mouth until I look at each one.

    • OMG Jim I think I would have died if I saw the maggots after ingesting some of the nuts. I purchased mine from a high end gourmet shop and it still happened. Apparently if stored in the freezer immediately then it kills any eggs from pests or anything that could be live. It’s revolting to think about. I didn’t eat nuts for a long time after this post. Now that I’m talking about it again, it makes me want to stop eating them again.

  19. I have a very dangerous Soy allergy so all my nutes must be purchased still in a shell. I crack them and then roast them and only then do I store them in the fridge or freezer. I think we all should go back to the way our grandparents prepared, stored and ate their foods. We would all be a whole lot healthier.

    • Kelilah I think you have an excellent point. Had I purchased these with the shell on them I may not have had that issue. That said the shop did tell me in the future to store them in the freezer until ready to use as well as any leftovers.

  20. Hi…I suppose I cab be cynical, for all its government talk Australia has very little real protection from pests, 2 and poly-legged. We did in the past but the globalisation madness allows import of vast quantities of materials (e.g Bunnings and other businesses now importing tools and materials dominantly fro China) and food stuff without inspection, (Aldi, Woolworths etc.) presumably to be a ‘good globalisation marketplace neighbour’ to uncaring nations, setting aside disloyalty to Australians for profit, Usually I freeze rice and porridge to kill the bugs, but never dreamed Aldi’s almonds would carry the bug I found. The almonds went straight from packet to sealed containers and most eaten, As time progressed I began to feel ill from eating them so the last lot stayed in a ‘seriously’ sealed container, about half filled , a very tight fitting lid unopened for over a month. Today I wondered what was happening with some grey inside it…opened it and immediately striped flies emerged (Moths?) and a web was substantial side. I immediately clipped the lid down again I killed all escaped but one…Without further escape poured boiling water into the container. Almond dust was copious…but how do they live without replacement air? I will take the container to Aldi I don’t expect it will care, but I’ll do what I can.

    So Aldi and presumably hundreds of other stores import pests with no restraint. Shame on you is a minor criticism, Today technology would allow killing these pests but why care? the more infected with pests from other nations the less governments have to do to protect us….instead just run the places for their own ‘id’.

    • Sorry that I’m just now seeing this. The nuts I purchased were from a high end gourmet shop so I was quite surprised when it occurred. They did however confirm that it happens quite often and that in the future I should store any unused nuts in the freezer and if not using right away to freeze them.

      As for the malware thank you. I’ll look into it.

  21. ps your site attracts numerous ‘bad’-malware (I realise that’s a tautology) I’ve not seen before…. as I am finding right now as EMSI, thought to let you know

  22. I can see how purchased pecans can have worms but it would be rare simply because the worms begin living in the outer hull that protects the pecan. Most often they do not have enough time to bore into the shell of the pecan before harvest because the outer hull provides enough nutrients. I harvest my own pecans from my own tree and never crack a pecan that is with flaws. I try to get them in the freezer ASAP but have left them on the shelf for as long as a month. 

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thank you for your reply. These were raw shelled pecans that I had purchased at a store here in town. They sell them in bulk either raw or roasted. Since I was going to be cooking them they sold me the raw ones. However, I didn’t use all of them up and had them in my pantry at the time. They were probably there about 2 weeks. Forgive me I don’t recall the exact length of time since it was years ago but i believe it was just about 2 weeks. It was awful! The store did confirm that it’s common.

  23. I purchased chopped pecans on sale, made a wonderful roasted beet salad, as I was putting it in containers I saw a maggot! I almost vomited of course I had to toss the whole bowl! I’ve been trying to figure out where it came from, not the beets, I checked the wild rice, not the oranges, blue cheese, I know it wasn’t anything in the dressing (which was home made vinegrette) the nuts were my last thought, just discussed. Thanks for your blog.

  24. I just had an experience with almonds. I do not know when I purchased them, but kept them in freezer/or refrigerator. Then I made my own Trail Mix with Craisins, Almonds and M & M’s. While on vacation with other adults we kept eating the Trail Mix which was sitting on coffee table. Before leaving condo I picked up dish to bag and take home and it was teeming with little black bugs that ran everywhere. They moved like ants, but looked a little different. There was a dish of candy on same table and no bugs in it so I knew they came from almonds. It will be a long time before I eat almonds!

    • Hmm that’s surprising since you had initially stored them in the freezer which would/should have killed any eggs living on them. 

      Is it possible where you were was warm and windows and doors were open that could have attracted these bugs?

      It’s definitely a turnoff and one that makes it so you never want to purchase almonds or any other nut again. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Those sound like weevles and they do carry caner and such.. nuts need to be in freezer not fridge for at least three days.

    • I’ve never heard of caner. Yes I’m aware now as are those who have read this that fresh nuts must be kept in the freezer. Not only will it kill any eggs from hatching but it will also keep them fresh. Thank you for sharing.

  25. It just happened to me omg. Yesterday I found one lonely maggot on my kitchen counter I obviously got rid of it ASAP but I became nervous as hell since I have four dogs and it isn’t unusual for me to have a fly in the house in the summer. I freaked out and searched for number one or two hidden accidents from one of the dogs somewhere around the house that could be hosting these things.  I bought raw almonds a few days ago cause I was told they’re healthier and the bag sat in the kitchen cupboard. This morning I went for the bag to take a few and saw a couple, not a million maggots but several dead ones. That was so disgusting.  I’m happy I found the source. 
    There is some small village in some European country that eats live maggot sandwiches. 

    • OMG seriously? It almost doesn’t surprise me. Other cultures eat things we would never think of. So sorry you had to deal with that. 

      If you decide to purchase any nuts in the future place them in the freezer. That should solve this issue. 

      Thank you for sharing!

  26. yesterday my daughter ate one of the kirkland nut bars and found a worm crawling out if it. I am so thankful for your post and information. I was able to confirm and now will take them back for a refund. I am sick about this and will have to find some other bar for her to take in her lunch.

    • I am so sorry for the delay in seeing this. 

      Yes it’s totally revolting. I wish there was some way of eliminating this issue but it seems to be ongoing. 

      I think the more people share their stories others will become aware and use caution when purchasing items with nuts. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  27. I just purchased a bag of mixed unshelled nuts from Aldi, in Wisconsin Rapids. I poured myself a small bowl and bought the nut cracker and bowl of nuts, into the living room, to crack as I watched a show. To my surprise, I saw a small natt  like bug scurrying in my hand. I know that I don’t have bugs in my home and I’m kind of disgusted knowing I just ate nuts with bugs. I suppose they must be tossed unless there’s something I can do to the nuts to get rid of the bugs. Can I freeze them to kill the bugs offs?

    • Tina that’s up to you. Personally I’d throw them out or take them back to Aldi’s and let them know what happened. In the future you may want to store your raw nuts in the freezer if you’re not going to eat them right away. Honestly sometimes I even forget but fortunately I haven’t had that experience since.

      If there are already bugs crawling around I don’t think I’d want to eat them. But that’s me!

  28. I think I don’t mind eating nuts and whole grains if the eggs are microscopic. If the food is organic, it is likely that there are always microscopic eggs from field bugs in the grain or the nuts – they are natural products. I do draw the line when they have become larvae, cobwebby, or actual moths. Did you ever wonder why recipes call for sifting flour? In the old days it was to remove various stages of the bugs that were in it. We should remind ourselves that this is why industry started “refining” grains and bleaching flour – i.e. to extend shelf-life. Those “manufactured” products do not have enough nutrition to sustain the bugs so they do not survive and shelf-life is more or less forever. Think about it. Freezing for a few days will kill the bugs and their eggs.

    • Great perspective!  I do think we often forget about those things and why companies do the things they do or request we do certain things. 

      I actually don’t recall sifting for that reason but it makes sense. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for sharing those facts. . 

  29. I saw worms in Raw Almonds. I put it in sunlight and worms crawled out and all died. Can I wash and use the nuts now?

    • I’m so sorry for the delay. That’s up to you if you want to wash them. I personally would not but that’s me. The key in the future is to place in the freezer. This kills any eggs etc from hatching. 

      As sickening as this sounds if we eat them with the larva or eggs still on them our stomach acids apparently will kill them. 

      You need to decide what you prefer doing. You can also opt to return them back to the store you purchased them at. Good luck!  Thanks for sharing!

  30. This just happened to me tonight – larva my pecans. The pecans must have been in my cabinet about a month. It was the hands-down most gross thing I’ve ever encountered about food.

    • I know isn’t it? Without question it turns you off from ever buying them again. Since my episode I think it took me about a year and then started buying them again. I freeze mine now at least the raw ones but obviously from all the comments I should freeze all of them I purchase or just don’t buy them again. 

      Maybe it’s time to investigate what dieseases those rodents harbor? Thank you for sharing!

  31. Yes! On numerous occasions I found small insects in the nuts ( almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios) purchased from different supermarkets, including so-called “expensive” food stores. Now, I boil ALL of the nuts I buy for 2 minutes or so and peel the skins. At least I know there are no bugs or residual mouse poop on my nuts. 

    • So sorry for the delay. Wow that’s one way to clean them and be sure there aren’t any bugs lurking inside the bag or inside the shells. Great idea. I have to give you credit for doing that. It’s a lot of work that I’m not sure most people would do. 

  32. I had bought some roasted and salted pistachios from a trusted supermarket. The bag was about 400g, after eating I few I felt a disgusting taste in my mouth so I spit it out. After looking through a few of the pistachios, I found it. A 1cm worm, underneath the pistashio shell. Needless to say, I’m not going to be a pistashio fan for a long time.

    • I’m sorry you had to go through that. It’s so vile. It’s certainly makes it so we don’t want to eat them anymore. Honestly had that been me and I realized I’d just bit into part of a worm I probably would have vomited. Thanks for sharing. 

  33. Oh my goodness! Vicki.. Thank you for sharing! I googled “bugs in nuts” and found your blog. I always purchase from Target the “Cashew, Cranberry, Almond Trail Mix” which clearly states ” sweetened cranberries, raw almonds & unsalted cashews” on the label. I purchased this container about 2 months ago and it says “Best by 20/Nov/2020” The container of trail mix has been sitting in my work desk drawer and this morning I opened the container and poured some out to snack on and 2 bugs/insects flew out! OMG! What the?!?! I could not believe it and wondered HOW?! Of course I had closed the lid right away and inspected the contents of the container. Everything still looks good but there are multiple bugs/insects (not sure what exactly they are) flying around in there! I don’t know if I should just toss it in the trash or if I should go back to Target and show them. I have purchased this trail mix many times from Target and never seen this before nor have I heard of anyone finding bugs/insects in their nuts! So thank you for your blog and thanks to everyone that has shared their experience over the years because otherwise I would never believe this to be something that really happens. The container is AIR TIGHT so it boggled my mind, how did the bugs/insects get in there! LOL Well now I know they were already in there as eggs and they hatched! OMG I don’t think I can eat nuts for a long while! I will be sharing this with a friend of mine, who also loves this trail mix and I know she buys it often as well.

    • Ferlene I’m so sorry you had to experience that. I know – it’s awful and nauseating at the same time. 

      You definitely can return them although with Covid-19 going on right now they may not accept it back but probably give you a refund. 

      I always put my nuts in the freezer now. Although that said I do purchase those mixes at Whole Foods and haven’t. So I guess I’d better remember to do it for those too. 

      Apparently freezing the nuts kills any eggs that may be in the batches. 

      When it first happened to me, I don’t think I had nuts for at least a year later. 

      Glad my blog could help, but so sorry this happened to you. 

      Thanks for sharing your story. 

  34. Hello, Thank you for Sharing your Experience for Nuts, I did start to believe I was Nuts ”Four bags”; of Nuts in One box after looking today noticed they or mostly all are being eaten away by some sort of insect very very tiny too see.  As I have noticed others thrown them Away It certainly puts One off for life.

    • Yes it certainly does. So sorry you had to experience that. It’s quite disgusting. 

      Freezing the bags when you purchase them does kill any eggs that may be on the nuts. 

      I know that sounds revolting and certainly kept me from eating nuts for at least a year. Somehow I’m back to eating them but freeze them now. 

      Thanks for sharing your experience on my blog. 

      Stay safe and be well during this crazy time. 

  35. So pleased I found your blog. At least I know now.

    I just experienced the same thing. I had an air tight container filled with nuts and raw cashews. I noticed a webbing inside. It was filled with maggots. But the webbing. Oh wow! It was like something out of alien.

  36. So pleased I found your blog. At least I know now. Thank you

    I just experienced the same thing. I had an air tight container filled with nuts and raw cashews. I noticed a webbing inside. It was filled with maggots. But the webbing. Oh wow! It was like something out of alien.

    • OMG that sounds crazy!  Mine were in a plastic zip lock baggie from a wine and cheese store that were raw, so they just managed to get out. I never saw a webbing. Did you happen to take a photo? I’d love to see it if you did. 

      It’s so revolting, isn’t it?

      I’m so sorry you had to experience that but thank you for sharing it here. 

  37. Great post!  I found this while trying to figure out if the small insects in my chocolate covered macadamia nut crawled in or emerged from the nut – I’m now leaning toward the latter. Darn, I was concerned about melting but it’s a crime to refrigerate dark chocolate. :/   I had consumer ed as part of a class in high school – decades ago. There had been a news story about part of a rodent being found in some packaged food.  It was then we learned that, given the size of manufacturing and machines, it is not uncommon for foreign objects to arrive in bulk raw materials or fall into vats, mixing machines, packaging conveyer belts… The industry applied a threshold for this, allowing up to a specific weight / number of particles i.e. insect parts, rodent hair… per produced product.  If you garden / farm your likely accustomed to dealing with familiar issues, as gross as it may be.  As someone mentioned earlier, industry response to consumers is to poison everything. That’s why there’s also a threshold for how much of each toxin is permitted in the finished product.  All my grains go in the freezer, as I am usually in warm climates. I’m not even sure if it kills all pests, but arrests their growth. Putting rice in the sun to get bugs out of the container is common practice in places where it’s consumed regularly (probably wouldn’t fit in the freezer). Unlike mycotoxins and such, that usually wouldn’t cause illness.  Anything with signs of rodents need to be carefully discarded, as they did not come from the product and transmit all sorts of disease.  Maggots always gave me heebee jeebies, so I send for help there! ? My baking nuts are in the freezer, but now I’m going to inspect the Costco container of raw nuts in my car – on the go protein – and put them in the freezer.  Mahalo 🙂

    • Sorry for this late reply.

      Interesting. It’s crazy how posting this has found its way into so many others google search. It’s so disgusting. Hearing about your experience and others as well certainly makes one wonder what passes inspections that we still don’t know about. Thanks for sharing this.

      Flying squirrels? I’ve never seen one!

    • Oops the flying squirrels was meant for the post below. Sorry!

  38. Yes I stored left over Almond nuts in a glass jar, It is now crawling on the inside. yuk

  39. I have 2 pet flying squirrels and they love nuts. It was about 2 years ago when I discovered a crumbly web thing growing thru the cracks of some pistachio nuts. The flyers wouldn’t eat them so they must taste pretty bad. Soon after I noticed moths flying around. Hmmmm, trying to connect the dots,
    I decided to conduct an experiment. I left one pistachio nut in a small covered container where nothing could get in- or out, but first I marked the date, Aug 20, 2020 on it. Today, one month later I found the crumb web thing growing out from between the shell opening. Gross! Now I know the nuts aren’t being found by egg laying bugs; but the egg laying bugs come in already attached to the nuts! I have since discovered this icky the crumb web blob growing on several unshelled pecans and some shelled almonds.

    After that I refrigerate all the nuts. I wondered if soaking the unshelled pecans in salty water might kill the larvae, but I see someone mentioned freezing them. Good idea because if they aren’t killed, the next phase would be pantry moths all-over-the place! Been there; Done that. Flying squirrels spend the night hiding their food. The more I fed them, the more they hid and the more moths would be flying around. So I spend a few minutes every day finding their stash. Once the larvae develops wings, it’s usually only live long enough to breed. Once the moths start flying around, and I couldn’t get rid of them, I bought the pheromone glue traps.(Dr. Killagans- worked the best). They attract the male moths who get stuck and die and when the female can’t find a mate before she dies; no more larvae and no more pantry moths! However, more larvae will still come in with new batches of fresh nuts. It’s like how fruit flies just seem to happen no matter how much you clean the fruit. (And all this time, I thought I was vegetarian. Ha!)

    • What a fascinating experiment you conducted. But still it’s so revolting. It makes me wonder if those who do these inspections purchase nuts themselves. 

      I think the key is in freezing them. Yet it makes me wonder what type of bacteria those eggs could be carrying or those that dropped them, and if the nuts aren’t placed in the freezer upon purchase, what affect could it have if ingested before they hatch? I shudder to think. Although I was told the acids in our stomachs would kill them. Still then it’s in our system. 

      I need to do way more research on this. 

      Thank you for sharing what you found and your experiment. Glad your squirrels helped you in your discovery. I’ve never seen a flying squirrel let alone heard of one as a pet. Sounds entertaining!

  40. I’m a vegan, so I tend to eat a lot of my nuts in my diets for added protein and nutrition. However, I found the hard way, not to eat raw nuts when I was younger and I used to travel with my dad to buy, large containers of raw nuts that were on sale in the city. I started getting sick, when I ate them. I never knew it was coming from the nuts, since no one ever warned me that raw nuts had larvae in them. However, I noticed that, if the containers were left outside the fridge , than the place will be contaminated with bugs. I also did an experiment when, I started reintroducing food in my diet to find out, which foods I was reacting to and I found out the raw nuts did not agree with me. It took me weeks to feel better after I stopped eating raws and now I only purchase organic roasted nuts to make certain, that I never experience it again. Please be aware, that more studies need to be done to make certain foods are safe for consumption; I feel that companies are assuming larvae is destroyed by our stomach acid and companies care more about the bottom line than our health so, they take advantage of the ignorance of consumers and the latest health craze to get people to buy product, but I still think the larvae can affect your body like a parasite and your body needs to work to get rid out of it and it takes a long time.

    • Interesting story and how great that you were able to determine the source of where your stomach issues were coming from. 

      I’ve almost completely stopped eating them as I’ve realized as well they cause cause havoc in our body in various ways. 

      Thank you for sharing this story for myself and my readers.  It can open the door for many to possibly understanding ones health issues. You just never know what could be lurking in our food. 

  41. I just poured a handful of mixed nuts. I was distracted for a moment then returned my gaze to the nuts and saw what appeared to be a maggot trying to escape the dish!!? Your article was the first I read. Very helpful. Super bummed. I scanned the nuts, the spray on but how do I unknow that?!! Lol

  42. I found that a bag of almonds I bought at Costco and stored for a couple of months in the pantry had gotten kind of … well, mealy — little crumb or dust-like particles adhering to the nuts. Does that indicate that some insect eggs have hatched inside. I’m asking because one thing I couldn’t find in your article was how to determine (i.e. what is the visual appearance) that a bag of nuts should be thrown out.

  43. How does one determine that a bag of nuts is no longer good to eat? Is there some visual clue? I have a bag of almonds that has what look to me like telltale crumbs or dust-like particles adhering to the nuts. What prompted me to examine the nuts is that I ate one out of the bag and it tasted funny. That’s when I noticed the particles. Can you confirm that this is something to watch out for?

    • I’m so sorry for this very late reply. I seemed to have had some issues with my emails getting to me. 

      I am not certain how to answer your question, which is a great one. However inspecting them as you did would benefit all of us. Unfortunately to best inspect would likely be done after purchasing and opening the packaging once home – which is less than ideal!  That said it’s a good rule of thumb we should all consider doing. 

      That said, we still need to get into the habit of freezing them. Since apparently all nuts will have insect eggs on them, it’s just a matter of time before they hatch. Freezing the nuts kill the eggs. 

      To be honest, after I first discovered this, it took me years before I ate any pecans or almonds again. Now I just try not to think about it. Cooking or freezing them will kill any eggs lying on the nuts. 😱

      Thank you for sharing your comments. 

  44. Several minutes ago, I was eating walnuts that were purchased from Whole Foods. When I was nearly done consuming my small bowl, I noticed a dozen very small (3-4mm?) insects crawling around in the walnut dust and fragments. Many ORGANIC nuts and whole grains will contain some insect pest eggs at the time of your purchase. If the product is stored in your pantry for a few weeks, those eggs will hatch, and there will be insects eating your produce. I’M SURE THAT MOST CONSUMERS WOULD MUCH PREFER TO ACCIDENTALLY EAT A FEW INSECTS, RATHER THAN CONSUME PESTICIDES.

    The Whole Foods Organic walnuts with insects had been purchased approximately 2 weeks earlier. As I mentioned before, many ORGANIC nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables will contain insect pest eggs. After a few days, those eggs will hatch… and the “circle of life” begins anew. FYI: My walnuts tasted fresh and good. Most consumers would much rather accidentally eat insects eggs [or even a few tiny live insects] ratherthan consume pesticides.

    • Well I personally don’t want to consume either. That’s why we all routinely need to place any type of nut purchased in the freezer upon purchasing if not consuming immediately. 

  46. Is it OK washing nuts thoroughly to wash away any insect energy? In India we wash and soak all nuts and eat them later. Also I don’t keep any sugars or flours at home and eat fruit and vegetables or washed and cooked rice and lentils to avoid insect contamination. No jams, peanut butter, dairy etc. Non vegans should also go vegan as germs or insect eggs are commonly found in processed cheese, dairy, eggs, meat which are insect attracting and very filthy as well as unethical.

    • Wow this is news to me and so sorry for this late reply. 

      I have never washed nuts before, but if this is something you have done routinely for years and haven’t had an issue with the nuts getting soggy then you’ve taught me something new. Do you then spread them out to dry or place in an oven?

      As for the rice and lentils I am assuming you wash those just before you cook with them? Please confirm. The dairy I would think would be fine if refrigerated. I’ve never had that issue so please clarify for those of us reading this. 

      Thank you for sharing your comments. 

  47. I purchased Mariani premium walnuts,
    My husband loves nuts. He was watching a ball game 
    and told me he got real sick and it must have been the nuts, I just looked in the bag and found worms and webs, it made me sick to think I bought them, 
    I have notified the company.

  48. I’m so sorry that I’ve missed the past 3-4 comments. What I was told from the place I purchase fresh nuts from was that this is common. 

    When you bring nuts home they said to place in the freezer in a zip lock or freezer bag. Any eggs will be killed. That said, if you don’t freeze them and eat them, the acid in your stomach will kill them. 

    Any way you look at it, in my opinion, it’s nauseating to think about. 

    I’m sure if the store put a warning sign on their packages no one would buy nuts. I guess in some ways we might be getting a little more protein than we bargained for! 😱

  49. I had pecans in the original container from the supermarket. I had used some and put the rest away. 2 weeks later I wanted to use them, and the container was completely full of cobwebs. I thought to myself it was sealed so how did a spider get in. No matter freezer from now on

    • Hi Jay,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I haven’t heard of spider webs before, but at this point nothing would surprise me. I think we all need to get into the habit of placing nuts in the freezer if not consuming them or cooking them right away. So sorry you had that issue. 

      Thank you for sharing this. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  50. I finally regained the strength to comment after just balling my eyes out- I got my raw mixed nuts from BIG LOTS and have been eating them for months- in my smoothies and salads. I just noticed BEFORE I bit into my salad thank God but obviously not soon enough (it’s been months) that at the end of the bag was a bunch of mixed nut shavings and about 6 moving worms. I have no interest in ever eating nuts again. I did this to be healthy (I also have a gluten intolerance so here’s one more less food item I can eat) IDK what to do or where to go now, I’m already in food distress and on a tight budget :’( 

    • Hi Sara,
      I am so sorry you had to go through that. I know how traumatizing it is I went through this as well. 
      What I can suggest though is that you purchase nuts in the future from a store that doesn’t carry bulk items but rather someplace that Carrie’s fresh nuts like a wine and cheese place or gourmet grocer where they get frequent shipments and smaller ones. Also when you get them home place any unused nuts in the freezer. This will immediately kill any eggs that could be on them 
      Yes I know that’s so revolting but apparently so common. Not that it matters. 
      If you haven’t read the previous posts I suggest you do. You’ll learn a lot and also see you aren’t alone in this discovery. 
      Good luck!

  51. We just opened a bag of walnuts from Sams club.
    There are weird hair or cobweb like strings all through the bag……ick….idk if i wanna know what it is

    • Melaine who knows what that could be. Have you checked the expiration date?  It sounds like some sort of web from your description but I can’t imagine. Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound appetizing. Sorry!

      Thanks for sharing😊

  52. Introductions to a problem is more aggravating 
    because I had to read your life story to get information on these insects. Please minus the introduction and get to the point.

    • It’s my blog. People share their stories as well as facts, recipes or whatever else they blog about. Most people find it interesting as well to see what others have shared regarding their experience. I hope you got the answer you were looking for if not here then someplace else. Enjoy your day!😊

  53. I bought two packets of pine nuts here in Cairo, cooked pesto without a thought until I opened my cupboard and it was infested with beetles. After investigating, I discovered the source to be the pine nuts, both packets, now opened, had tiny black beetles in them. The beetles had got out when I opeed the packet and had crawled all over everything else in the cupboard. It was horrific and I had never seen anything like this before but I won’t be buying raw nuts again.

    • Oh Amanda I’m so sorry you had to experience that. It sounds similar to what happened to me. It’s so revolting. I make a habit now of putting all nuts I purchase now in the freezer. 

      Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day!

  54. Has anyone tested freezing them and then leaving them out of the freezer to see if freezing actually kills the eggs, or just delays the hatching?

    • Apparently based on research I’ve done and talking with a nut company, freezing kills the eggs as well as roasting. I always place any unused nuts now in the freezer upon purchasing them. Since doing that I’ve never had an issue. 

      That’s what I recommend d once you bring them home or roasting them right away. 

      Have you had an issues?

  55. I bought some roasted almonds from Walmart and kept them in the fridge. I ate a few every day with my cereal. At the end of November 2022, I went to Brazil to visit some family. I took these almonds with me to have with oatmeal in the morning. After one week in Brazil I developed a severe diarrhea and couldn’t go anywhere. Mid December I came back to Canada and thought that the problem was caused by the water there or something else I ate there. However, the problem became chronic and my doctor ordered a test for parasites and bacteria. The test was negative. It would get a bit better but it never right went away. In February I travelled to the Caribbean and took some of these almonds there too. Back in Canada finally one day I looked inside the almond container and found one almond covered with a whitish layer. I lift this layer with a fork and the almond had a tiny hole. I took a picture of this layer, magnified and was horrified to see some eggs or maggots on it. These were microscopic one couldn’t see them with naked eyes. I think the whole container of almonds was contaminated with mold and whatever else. I also found out that I had pinworms and I wonder if that came from the almonds. I don’t think I will eat nuts ever again this was a bad experience.

    • OMG Regina I am so sorry you had to go through that. It’s revolting, isn’t it?  

      Did you ask you doctor or google if you can get pinworms from that?  I wouldn’t doubt it. I put all my nuts when they come home in the freezer now, and leave them there except when I want some. 

      I went back to eating them after not for a long time. I would suggest though purchasing from a company that goes through their nuts quickly if it means paying a bit more. Always check the expiration date.  

      You can read through all these posts, I think you’ll gain a lot of information. 

      Wishing you a speedy recovery. Thank you for sharing your experience with me and those that follow my blog. 

      Have a great week!

  56. Hi, googling maggots & nut led me to this blog so here I am, to share. For many years, I’ve bought walnuts by the bulk, 10lb bag from C.J. Dannemiller Co and store them in a vacuum container. Never had an issue, at least not a known issue. Well that stopped with my latest purchase of 3 weeks ago. Yesterday when opening the container, the stainless steel scoop I used had silk-like fibers on it and after filling a counter container I use, then opening this container this morning, I found a maggot worm on the container’s ceiling. Now I have a dozen containers containing 10lbs of walnuts in my freezer where they’ll stay for 4-5 days. While I complained to the company, I learned 2 things. 1, I’m not giving up eating walnuts or buying bulk cuz I eat walnuts in everything from my oatmeal, pancakes, salads,,, even my jello with fruits & walnuts. I eat a LOT of walnuts so there’s that. And 2, from now on, before I even open the 10lb box of walnuts from UPS, that box will spend a week in the freezer. An ounce of prevention cures 10 lbs of frustration, so to speak. LOL

  57. I purchased raw peanuts from a company on Amazon. After using almost the entire bag, I notice little black bugs  in the bag. I found one encased in the bottom of a batch of peanut brittle. I want to the away every batch, but I bet. My husband will disagree. He will eat anything. 

    • My understanding is that once it reaches your stomach the acid will kill them. So disgusting to think about. 

      Next time place any purchased nuts in the freezer. It will kill any bugs or eggs. 

  58. YESSS! This happened to me recently and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from! 
    Thank you for sharing this so I don’t feel like I’m crazy 😆! 
    So gross- but thank you for confirming this!

  59. My mom says eating pumpkin seed shells will leave bugs in your stomach, is this true?

    • When I first had the incident in my cabinet with bugs I talked with the nut company and also searched extensively on google. While this may not sound appetizing what I learned was if any nuts you were to eat had any bugs or eggs on them they would immediately die once they reach your stomach due to our stomach acids. 

      Also if you purchase nuts it’s best to store them in the freezer. If there were any bugs or eggs on them, the freezer would kill them. 

      Since my episode I always store any nuts I purchase in the freezer to avoid ever dealing with that issue again. 

      Just writing about it makes me feel sick but apparently it’s very common. Especially if you purchase raw nuts!!!

      The best advice I can give is be sure to purchase from a reputable store so you know they’re fresh. Always store in the freezer once you get home. 

      I hope this answered your question. 

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