Growing fruits and vegetables in your garden can be a very rewarding experience, that is, unless your local wildlife critters decide to sneak in and take the crops for themselves.
If you’re growing a lemon tree in your backyard and notice lemons disappearing, you may be wondering if raccoons are to blame. This article explores the topic of ‘do raccoons eat lemons’
Raccoons do not eat lemons. These animals are repelled by acidic fruits like lemons, they are also repelled by other citrus fruits. Animals that do eat lemons include rats, squirrels, and possums.
Do raccoons eat lemons?
Raccoons are either loved or hated by people. To some people, they are cute and furry pets, to others, they are thieves who steal food at night.
Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, they will eat almost anything put in front of them. They are also omnivores, they eat both plant and animal matter.
However, raccoons do not eat lemons, in fact, they are repelled by them
Why raccoons hate lemons:
If you look up ways to keep raccoons away, one solution that is consistently mentioned is citrus fruits.
Raccoons have a strong sense of smell. These animals are able to smell lemons a long way away. Once raccoons smell lemons, they will stay away.
They will also avoid other citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and grapefruits, they will keep away from essential oils made using citrus as well
Lemons are quite bitter, raccoons don’t enjoy them. These animals prefer fruits that are sweet, they also like to eat foods that are neutral tasting like corn. Sour and bitter fruits are not enjoyed by raccoons
What animal eats lemons?
Rats are opportunistic feeders just like raccoons, but unlike raccoons, these animals are not repelled by lemons, they eat and enjoy them. Rats are great climbers, they climb up trees and will eat lemons right on the tree.
If your lemons have been eaten and the rinds are leftover then you’re likely dealing with rats.
Squirrels and humans experience taste differently, humans find lemons to be bitter and undesirable but squirrels can’t get enough of them.
Squirrels also enjoy eating other bitter foods like acorns
These animals will enjoy chewing on your fruit. Possums will chew on a lemon’s skin and leave the fruit completely skinned.
The lemons eaten by possums may even be left still hanging on the tree
Although these animals do not attack and eat your lemons they will damage the tree’s flowers, twigs, new shoots, and the fruit on your citrus trees.
Other animals that eat lemons include goats, coyotes, and wild pigs
What bugs are attracted to lemons?
Snails and slugs:
If you notice that the leaves on your lemon trees are being eaten at night, snails and slugs are likely to blame, a telltale sign of snails and slugs eating your lemons is a trail of slime.
These insects will also ringbark twigs, young shoots, and lemon trees. This ringbarking can cause the death of the tree.
Lemons play a large role in the lives of these insects. The eggs are laid on lemon tree leaves and the worms eat lemons as well.
These tiny insects can affect lemon populations in a big way because the worms will not stick to eating one lemon, they will sample a variety of different lemons, damaging each of them
Many types of mites enjoy eating lemons. The types of mites that enjoy eating this fruit include six spotted mites, citrus bud mites, citrus rust mites, brown rust mites, and citrus red mites.
Lemons that mites have eaten can have brown or silvery marks, they can also grow in a distorted or misshapen way.
Fruit flies eat almost anything, lemons included. The female fruit fly uses the underside of the lemon rind to lay her eggs. These eggs will hatch into larvae and feed on the lemons.
Once this feeding is done, these insects will create tunnels to exit the lemon. This process destroys the lemon, making it unsuitable for consumption
A variety of other insects also eat lemons, these include bronze orange bugs, caterpillars, fork-tailed katydids, European earwigs, moths, and spined citrus bugs
In conclusion, no, raccoons do not eat lemons. Raccoons are repelled by all citrus fruits, not just lemons.
There are few animals that eat lemons, these include squirrels, coyotes, wild pigs, possums, and rats
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat lizards?, Do raccoons eat kittens?, Do raccoons eat Japanese beetles?