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Lemon Zesting Rodents?

In one of the gardens where I’m working this summer, all of the citrus have had the peels eaten away by some kind of animal. I’ve never seen this before; it looks really strange. The garden is near Berkeley’s so-called ‘Gourmet Ghetto’ in a relatively urban neighborhood that probably has some rats lurking about. Do rats do this? Do they like lemon zest? It doesn’t look like something squirrels or birds would do, and I can’t think of anything else that would do this.

— Update 8/30 — I asked at one of the nurseries and someone there said, yep, it was rats. Kind of gross.

5 Responses to “Lemon Zesting Rodents?”

  1. August 26th, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Jennier says:

    Interesting, I too wonder what critters like lemon rinds.

  2. August 27th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Town Mouse says:

    I’m sure the local Master Gardeners either know or can find out for you – and do let us know. I’m really curious now.

  3. August 30th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    ryan says:

    TownMouse — One of the gardeners at the nursery had seen this before and said, yep, it was rats. So I don’t think we’ll be seeing skinless citrus on the shelves at the supermarket any time soon. I really need to remember to consult the Master Gardeners sometime. I always forget to utilize that resource.

  4. September 11th, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Brad B says:

    This used to happen all the time to the lemon tree where I grew up. We thought it was the opossums, since they were often visible at night hanging out by the lemon. Though we never did see them actually eating the peel.

  5. September 20th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    ryan says:

    I don’t know. Opossums sounds more appealing, but it may have been rats.