holes in my lemons ? #734051 - Ask Extension


holes in my lemons ? #734051

Asked November 16, 2020, 11:45 PM EST

2 potted Improved Meyer Lemons, moved in late October from outdoors into my greenhouse.  Now showing several chew marks on the skins of both green and yellow fruits.  Several have holes "drilled" into the fruit about 3/16ths inch diameter and perhaps 1/4" deep with the cavity inside of skin slightly larger than the hole in the skin.  One also has a light green "scab" of similar size with a whiteish circle inside the lighter green outer edge.  No noticeable damage on leaves.  What's eating my lemons?  Dean (Mohawk Valley, NE of Springfield)

Lane County Oregon

Expert Response

It is hard to diagnose without seeing the insect or damage. There are a few different insects that can feed on the fruit itself, including thrips, katydids, earwigs, and various caterpillars to name a few. Based on the description, I believe this to be some type of caterpillar/larval insect. I suggest cutting into the fruit to see if you find any larva or adult insects. You can compare the damage you see, to the photos of insect damage at this site: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/C107/m107bpfruitinvert.html#GOUGING. The green spots you are seeing may be related to the insect feeding, or could be caused by abiotic factors or disease: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/C107/m107bpfruitinvert.html#GOUGING. Monitor the spot to see if it changes shape or color, and send some photos if it progresses.

Erica Chernoh Replied November 18, 2020, 3:58 PM EST

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