What animals eat lemons?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What animals eat lemons?”. We will further elaborate on which animals attract lemons and what is the reason for their attraction.

What animals eat lemons?

There are many species of animals who like to consume lemons due to which gardeners mostly find drilled or half-eaten lemons. Animals that eat lemons include:

  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Possums
  • Birds
  • Snails and slugs
  • Citrus cutworms
  • Mites
  • Fruit flies

Other animals that love to bite on lemons include goats, coyotes, and wild pigs. 

If you have planted lemons in your backyard, you must have an idea of how they give a beautiful aroma, making the atmosphere pleasant. Not only do humans love to eat juicy lemons but some animals also like lemons as snacks. 

Some of the animals who love to eat lemons are described below:


Rats are real opportunistic animals, and they eat a vast variety of foodstuffs similar to raccoons, but unlike raccoons, rats are not pushed back by lemons, in fact, they love to feed upon lemons. Rats are excellent at climbing, they go up trees and enjoy the lemons hanging on the trees thus causing notable damage to lemon trees in farms.

So if you discover your lemons have been bitten and the peels are leftover your prime speculation should be a rat.


Squirrels are little to medium-sized mammals that belong to rodents. These bushy-tailed animals are not particular about nutrition. They are omnivorous animals who feed upon almost everything they can discover, that can be flowers, fungus, seeds, roots, insects, little mammals, birds, and other squirrels too.

However, squirrels like to bite on bitter foods; hence, they love consuming lemons and can not get enough of them. Squirrels also love to eat other bitter foods such as acorns.

Fun fact: Squirrels typically store their food for winters, or when they encounter a lack of food. 


Possums are the animals that enjoy munching on fruits. What they do is they chew on a lemon’s peel and leave the fruit entirely without skin.

The lemons bitten by possums may even be left still dangling on the tree 


Birds do not actually feed upon the lemons; they will cause harm to the tree’s buds, twigs, and new sprouts. 

What insects eat lemons?

Insects are very small in size and are invertebrates due to which they go unnoticed many times. Despite their minimal size, they can destroy a maximum size of crops and plants. 

You can apply insecticidal soaps to keep away insects but keep in mind, wash fruits thoroughly before eating to omit the effects of insecticidal soap.

Some of the insects that love to feed upon lemons are described below: 

Citrus cutworms

Citrus cutworms also enjoy feasting on lemons. In fact, lemons play a huge part in the lives of Citrus cutworms. These tiny insects can prominently damage lemon varieties as the worms will not bite on one lemon, instead, they will test a variety of different lemons, harming each of them.


A variety of mites feed on lemons, including broad, Texas citrus, six-spotted, citrus rust, citrus bud, brown rust, and citrus red mites. 

Mites have varied appearances based on the species. The citrus rust mite has a yellow wedge-like body, while the citrus red mite has a red or purple rounded body. 

Some mites are so tiny that it is difficult to find them on a lemon tree’s fruit or leaves.

When mites feed on lemons, the fruit can grow silvery or brown marks, or appear deformed or shapeless as they grow.

Fruit flies

Fruit flies feed up on almost everything. They eat plenty of fruits. Among fruits, they love to bite on lemons. The female fruit fly lays her eggs underneath the lemon peel. When these eggs get hatched, the larvae inside them feed on the lemons.

Once they get full, these insects will make ways to get out of the lemon. This badly ruins the lemon, making it unfit for consumption. 

Other insects

Several other insects also like to bite on lemons, including bronze orange bugs, caterpillars, fork-tailed katydids, European earwigs, moths, as well as spined citrus bugs.

Do snails and slugs eat lemons?

Yes. Snails and slugs do eat lemons. If you find that the leaves on the lemon trees are being bitten on at nighttime, snails, and slugs are possibly the culprits, a trail of slime is an indication of snails and slugs eating the lemons.


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What animals eat lemons?”. We have further elaborated on which animals attract lemons and what is the reason for their attraction.