What's eating my oranges?

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I am in So Cal. Anybody know what is eating my oranges while they hang on the tree? Seems to only be at night.

Sandy
 
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I am in So Cal. Anybody know what is eating my oranges while they hang on the tree? Seems to only be at night.

Sandy
As far as I know there are only 4 animals that eat fruit at night, possums, raccoons, rats and mice. Squirrels don't. There seems to be no damage to the actual fruit, only the skin so this leaves out birds and the above animals. That leaves either caterpillars or some kind of insect and the only pesticide that kills both is a spinosad based product.
 
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As far as I know there are only 4 animals that eat fruit at night, possums, raccoons, rats and mice. Squirrels don't. There seems to be no damage to the actual fruit, only the skin so this leaves out birds and the above animals. That leaves either caterpillars or some kind of insect and the only pesticide that kills both is a spinosad based product.
Thanks for replying, Chuck. Actually, the fruit is eaten and most of the shell/skin is left. And the part of the skin that is eaten away faces the outside of the limb. So it looks like it could be a bird. But, I am certain all of the 4 animals you listed are locals in our area. Hmmm.....
 
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Thanks for replying, Chuck. Actually, the fruit is eaten and most of the shell/skin is left. And the part of the skin that is eaten away faces the outside of the limb. So it looks like it could be a bird. But, I am certain all of the 4 animals you listed are locals in our area. Hmmm.....
Is there a LOT of fruit being eaten? Are there ANY broken limbs. A raccoon will destroy as much as he will eat. A raccoon will break off small limbs as he clambers around in the tree. How sure are you that the damage is done at night? A possum will just chew up an orange, not do that type of damage. A squirrel will do similar damage but not at night. What I think is doing it are roof rats. Google roof rat citrus damage pictures. I think you will see exactly what is happening in your grove.
 
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That is strange. I would think racoon our possum would knock it out of the tree, if they could even get to it. Buy a cheap game camere and see if you can catch him in the act? Fruit bats?
 
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Are there Fruit Bats in America?
We had the same thought there, but I'm actually not sure if we have them or not. California would seem to be an ideal location though. Warm, lots of forest and lots of fruit trees.
 
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I could be wrong but I don't believe that the US has any fruit bats. North American bats all eat insects. Raccoons and possums do knock a lot of fruit to the ground but in many instances the fruit is left half eaten on the tree. Roof rats are a common problem to citrus in California and even in South Texas. Most folks when they think of rats think of the common Norway rat. Norway rats are the ones who like to munch on vegetable gardens and the rat we most commonly see. Roof rats are a LOT different from Norway rats. They are nocturnal and they normally live in places that is above ground. They are also the rats that spread the Bubonic Plague. I'd bet you a dollar to a doughnut that its roof rats.
 
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Is there a LOT of fruit being eaten? Are there ANY broken limbs. A raccoon will destroy as much as he will eat. A raccoon will break off small limbs as he clambers around in the tree. How sure are you that the damage is done at night? A possum will just chew up an orange, not do that type of damage. A squirrel will do similar damage but not at night. What I think is doing it are roof rats. Google roof rat citrus damage pictures. I think you will see exactly what is happening in your grove.
Oh my gosh, that's it! We do have a shed near the tree and I suppose that is their ladder. Will head over to home depot and get traps today. Thanks, Chuck!
 
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Oh my gosh, that's it! We do have a shed near the tree and I suppose that is their ladder. Will head over to home depot and get traps today. Thanks, Chuck!
I forgot to mention that rats are super intelligent. You might catch two in traps before they wise up to them. Poisons work a lot better. I would do both. Just make sure that the poison baits are out of reach of pets and kids.
 

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Might be a fruit bat that's escaped from a fur farm :cautious:

Rat's are also neophobic, which means they not only dislike certain rap artists but they distrust anything new, so don't expect instant results from the traps.
 
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