We have an old lemon, an orange, a grapefruit and a mandarin tree, planted in a row, two meters or so apart. Last year, some of our lemons had these black castings under the skin. This year, almost all the lemons succumbed to this pest. Then I found them in our grapefruits and oranges, not to the same extent. The culprit is a little worm. I have taken a photo that I could send.

I have looked it up, to try and identify the pest, but am not sure whether it is a worm of the coddling moth, false coddling moth, naval orange, or something else. I would be very grateful for some advice.

Best regards,


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Hi Ioana

Thanks for your question. I recommend you use a natural regular spray of Neem oil on the plants every two weeks. Neem is safe on edible plants and kills sucking and chewing insects including worms, aphids, white fly which all cause sooty mould deposits (the blackness you see on the fruits and leaves).

Neem is mixed with water as per the product description

Happy gardening


Palmers garden consultant

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