Phagocytosis is an ancient mechanism central to both tissue homeostasis and immune defense. Both the identity of the receptors that mediate bacterial phagocytosis and the nature of the interactions between phagocytosis and other defense mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report that Croquemort (Crq), a Drosophila member of the CD36 family of scavenger receptors, is required for microbial phagocytosis and efficient bacterial clearance. Flies mutant for crq are susceptible to environmental microbes during development and succumb to a variety of microbial infections as adults. Crq acts parallel to the Toll and Imd pathways to eliminate bacteria via phagocytosis. crq mutant flies exhibit enhanced and prolonged immune and cytokine induction accompanied by premature gut dysplasia and decreased lifespan. The chronic state of immune activation in crq mutant flies is further regulated by negative regulators of the Imd pathway. Altogether, our data demonstrate that Crq plays a key role in maintaining immune and organismal homeostasis.