What is stripping peel off lemons on the tree.

by Bill
(New Zealand)

I am finding lemons still hanging on the tree and which have had all the peel stripped off them, leaving just the fruit itself. Whatever is attacking them starts from the bottom of the fruit and works round and round until the fruit is bare. It is not bird or wasp damage and I suspect mice or rats. Thanks

Comments for What is stripping peel off lemons on the tree.

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Jun 06, 2010
lemons stripped of peel on tree
by: Megan

Sounds suspiciously like rats, or even hungry mice. These animals are expert at shinning up trees to get at fruit, and they like citrus peel, but not so much the flesh.
Could possibly be possums too, and/or snails will also do damage to peel.
Have a look for some small animal droppings around the tree to identify the culprits, and it wouldn't hurt to look for snails under leaves and go out with torch at late dusk or early dark.

Jun 06, 2010
Lemon stripping
by: Bill

Thanks megan for your suggestions. Yes, I suspected mice or rats but what puzzled me was that the stripping started from the bottom of the fruit which were at the end of relatively long thin "twigs" and well above the ground or other branches.
.

Jun 19, 2010
same problem
by: dr. d

I have been waging rodent wars all season this year - my peppermint oil solution has driven them from the more tender vegis to the lemon tree which is now stripped bare of rinds, with exposed fruit hanging everywhere. I think I will hang peppermint sachets and see what happens.

Jun 11, 2011
Naked lemons
by: Charlie

I am experiencing the same problem and have just had a sighting of mice . There is a small army of them that have pretty much wiped out my lemons. They do not seem interested in the limes or oranges.

Charlie from Lakewood Ca

Jun 11, 2011
Peeled lemons
by: Shirley from Hemet,CA

I, too have peeled lemons, and grapefruit with the insides eaten. These are not left on the tree,though. Very strange looking.

Jul 01, 2011
snails or rodents
by: Ben

I've seen snails and slugs eat the outer layer of skin on fallen lemons, but the problem on my tree is that the whole skin & the white pith are all gone. We have a mice plague around here at the moment so it's probably them. Don't get why they start at the bottom of the fruit & work their way up, though! Maybe the skin tastes better down there.

Oct 03, 2014
Sneaky lemon peel thief
by: Jason

Not sure but some little critter is stealing the peel off the lemons but leaving the lemons still on the tree. Very strange I've never heard or seen before but im out to catch this little bugger in the act. Just to be sure im going to setup a camrea and see what I find.

Jul 02, 2015
Peeled lemons and grapefruit
by: Rosemary

I too have been wondering what has been leaving naked lemons on my trees and devouring the grapefruit. I blamed possums until I saw a rat in the grapefruit tree, so I am now convinced it is rats. They eat most of the grapefruit helped out by birds in the daytime. They have started eating the rat bait so I will be feeding them this alternative food for a while!

Jun 07, 2016
Long Tails
by: Anonymous

I can say for me it has been possums. The droppings are too big for rats/mice and I have seen baby possums in the neighborhood.

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