What is Eating my Loquat Tree Leaves?: Every Possible Culprit

Loquats are medium-sized evergreen trees known for their small, yellow-orange fruits, which boast a variety of health benefits. Many people love them for their fruits that have a unique tart and sweet flavor. However, like most plants, they are prone to pests and diseases. If your loquat leaves are missing and you suspect pests are attacking the plants, read on. This article will answer the question, ‘what is eating my loquat tree leaves?’ 

What is eating my loquat tree leaves?: Insects That Like to Eat Loquat Leaves

what is eating my loquat tree leaves

Generally, not as many insects are problematic on loquat tree leaves. However, many pests that infest other fruit-bearing trees, like guava and apple, find loquat trees a suitable host in which they lay their eggs and feed upon them.

If your healthy loquat tree has had its leaves eaten, potential culprits could be:

    • Caterpillars– Although bark-eating caterpillars are more prevalent in loquat, some can eat the leaves. If you notice the leaves are chewed from the outside edge towards the middle, it is likely that the culprits are caterpillars. Caterpillars usually curl themselves up in leaves as they feed on them, so it is quite easy to notice their presence.
    • Thrips– Thrips usually use their mouthparts to rasp the leaf surface and feed on the flowers.
    • Chafer beetles– Adults chafer beetles are usually active at nighttime and feast on leaves. Of importance, their larvae destroy roots.
    • Carpenter bees– Carpenter bees cut into loquat leaves can pose a serious threat if unchecked.
    • Grasshoppers– Grasshoppers are considered a serious garden pest by many gardeners. If your loquat leaves have been attacked and eaten, but you can’t see the culprits, it is likely that grasshoppers feasted on them.
    • Green apple aphids– These are small, soft-bodied insects that use their long slender mouthparts to destroy plants. Although they do not necessarily feed on loquat leaves, they pierce them and suck the sap out of them.
    • Moths– Moth larvae (looks like caterpillars) dine on leaves. Although they are not a serious threat to loquat, they can attack and eat loquat leaves. They leave a chewing pattern like that of caterpillars.
    • Gray weevil– Adult gray weevils feed on loquat leaf edges, leaving U-shaped patterns on the leaves they chew.

Generally, most pests that attack loquat are more prevalent in other fruit-bearing plants, not loquats. They, however, find loquat plants a suitable host. The most likely culprits of eaten loquat leaves are grasshoppers and caterpillars.

There is also a range of other insects that devour other parts of loquat plants worth noting. These include:

    • Fruits flies
    • Bark-eating caterpillars
    • Scale insects
    • Root-knot nematode

How to Treat Loquat For Insects

what is eating my loquat tree leaves

When it comes to controlling infestation in loquats, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The control method to use will depend on what insects are attacking your plant. If the infestation is severe, you may want to use insecticides. Some of the effective compounds include:

    • Insecticidal soap
    • Neem oil
    • Horticultural oil

If you don’t want to use any chemicals, you can go the natural way and release predators to prey on the pesky ones. For instance, Cynips tinctoria, Opius incise, and Aphytis chrysomphali have been determined to be natural enemies of fruit flies.

Depending on what insects you are trying to control, you can use toxic bait to trap adults. Handpicking can also work effectively for some pests like caterpillars.

If the culprits are grasshoppers, the ultimate solution would be netting, as there is no product known to effectively control grasshoppers.

Animals that Like to Eat Loquat

Loquats are delicious and very juicy fruits that attract a lot of wildlife. Here are animals that enjoy feeding on loquats:

    • Squirrels – eat fruits that fall but do prefer the fruits on the trees
    • Deers – they graze upon the foliage and eat the fruits after they fall
    • Birds – Birds have a passionate love for loquats and will feast on them as early as they show signs of ripening
    • Raccoons – eat fruits that fall
    • Dogs – eat the juicy interior part, not the seeds or pit in the middle
    • Gophers

How to Stop Animals from Eating Loquat

A lot of wildlife love ripe loquat fruits and other types of fruit trees. If animals have become a nuisance, you can try these approaches to keep them away:

    • Netting
    • Attaching brightly colored foils to the branches to scare away animals
    • Tying plastic bags around clusters of fruits

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