The worm in this old joke is the Codling moth, a diabolical little critter that has damaged at least 75% of my apple crop this year. Early in the season after my apple trees had set fruit, I noticed some minor blemishes on the young apples. I didn't think too much about it, and went on about my business, blissfully ignorant of the voracious little larvae burrowing through my apples.
I try to never spray anything if I can help it, because 1) I don't want to kill good bugs indiscriminately along with the bad, 2) I've got young kids, and I don't want to pick up my baby with poison residue on my hands, and 3) I'm cheap and don't want to spend money on chemicals and sprays. I've always accepted that by taking this approach the birds and the bugs would get their share of whatever I grew, but I never dreamed the bugs would take nearly 3/4 of my crop!
There are several organic ways to control Codling moth, ranging from traps, to sprays, to just encouraging predatory wasps that eat the eggs and larvae. I think that next year I will definitely spray a soy based dormant oil just to be save, and will will try making some homemade moth traps. I already try to encourage predatory insects. If I'm successful, I might finally get enough apples to make a pie, or at least be able to bite into an apple without worrying about finding half a worm.
The only good thing is that the Codling moth larvae don't completely destroy the fruit. I've been cutting the apples up and removing the damaged parts, and eating the rest. I'm sure the apples would be larger and of higher all around quality if the larvae was completely prevented from entering the fruit, but the undamaged portions of damaged fruits seem to taste just fine. No complaints from Boy #1.