Lemon tree pest

mlevieMarch 25, 2009

Hi everyone!

Something's been munching my lemon tree. It doesn't cause too much damage to the leaves, but once the flowers begin to fruit it inevitably chomps them, so in three years we haven't seen a single lemon.

It can't be anything too large because it's in a fenced area, and I put some netting over it and that didn't stop it.

Today I saw a couple of beetles on it and took this picture. I apologize, it's not the best. Could this be the culprit? If so, what should I do about it?


Matt From Random pics

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Matt your tree is being eaten by a pest with chewing mouthparts as evident from the chewed leaves. Have you gone out at night with a flashlight to see if an army of snails is climbing your tree? Al

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:40AM
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Last year I had a similar looking beetle on my brugmansias and boy they ate the leaves quickly and they also multiply very quickly. I forgot the name of that beetle, but it also looked similar to a cucumber beetle. Google cucumber beetle and see if they like citrus.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 9:17AM
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They're definitely not cucumber beetles...can anyone identify? It's black, with a very flat back outlined in yellow. It's actually quite pretty.

Al, I've seen snails on my artichoke but never on the lemon, and I've scattered slug bait with no results. Also, the damage to the leaves is actually very minor but the damage to the fruit is catastrophic. Don't many beetles have chewing mouthparts?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:56AM
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debbysunshine(san diego)

My citrus and lemon trees are old but always fruitful but last year all the flowers fell off, the leaves were yellow and many branches were dead. Don't know what did it but had plenty of ants and mealy bug diseases. Went to the nursery and they sold me a product Gardener's Choice fruit and vegetable 3 in one spray concentrate. There is such a turn around where the dead branches have new growth, lots of flowers and some fruits. Best thing is that there is no fungus. I've also been feeding with a citrus growers food this year instead of miracle grow for fruit and I think that is holding the flowers in place at least until all the birds knock them off. This might help you too..

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:29PM
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erela(z9 SCal)

Has this lemon tree gotten fruit in the past?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 3:19PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am not sure your flowers are being eaten. To me it sounds like your flowers are simply falling off, or aborting. I would recommend you take a branch with what is left of flowers to your county UCCE extension office. A citrus specialist will look at the problem for you, no charge. Al

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:02AM
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OK, that sounds like a great idea, I'll do that. Thanks Al!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:55AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

That looks like the Arizona fig beetle, which doesn't eat much. Mostly they just fly into things and mate. The grubs like to live in compost piles.

Here is a link that might be useful: picture of Arizona Fig Beetle

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 8:44PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Don't think so.

Far too large to match what's in the OP image. Also, adults won't be out until later in the year in CA.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I don't think it's the Arizona fig beetle, but I blame my horrific blurry photo. It's fairly small, maybe an inch long at most, and the carapace is very flat and jet-black, not iridescent. Around the edge of it is a bright gold line--actually, it's quite attractive.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:36PM
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So if you're interested...I did take a branch down to the Ag Extension office here, and it turns out it has scale. And maybe more, but I'm going to start with that.

Al, thanks for encouraging me to do that.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 7:07PM
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hi, i have a 12 year old lemon meyer tree in my backyard/ san francisco, California. Does anyone know what might be causing a bark depletion on the branches? Something's eating or stripping the bark? not all, but 4 or 5 of the branches have white stripes from removed bark. I have not had this problem before and my tree is approximately 12 years old.
thanks for any advice.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:04PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

sf lemontree, start a new message so folks can respond to you. I will respond as soon as you post your question in a new topic. This thread should stay with the original poster.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:17PM
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My lemon tree is really blooming and some fruits have formed.
Before. I see bees but not much now. But now, I saw about 6 of them. I believe they are beetles, night black on some flowers. They move very slowly but the leaves of my tree are not damaged.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 11:57PM
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