How do I get rid of tiny insects on my lettuce, I know that there will always be insects on it but I'm so paranoid about it. I have a huge fear and I love lettuce so much. I get rid of most insects by first removing each leaf, soaking the lettuce in a vinegar water mix for 10 minutes or so, and running each individual lettuce leaf through water.

Usually this works, but I always get these little insects that don't seem to get off, I literally see them holding on to dear life when I run water through them.

I posted a pictures here too

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Is there a way to get rid of these little insects? Also, what are they?

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    I'm not even sure what that is ... but when dealing with insects in vegetables, I look for kosher guides on them. (Jewish dietary laws prohibit eating insects, so kosher certification groups have guidelines processors are required to follow. There are also some home guides such as rccvaad.org/lists_and_guides/Vegetable_Inspection_Guide.pdf ). – Joe Apr 20 at 3:48
  • How do you soak the lettuce leaves? Because a 10-minute immersion should have done for that bug. – FuzzyChef Apr 20 at 5:14
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    Looks like some kind of aphid to me..., altough I wouldn't have expected them on lettuce. Anyway, some of them produce a sticky substance which might be why you have difficulties washing them off. (Incidentially, that sticky stuff is basically a sugar syrup. It really tastes sweet if you lick off the leaves. Yes, I was a weird child.) – phipsgabler Apr 20 at 8:46
  • @phipsgabler honeydew, but it should come off with soaking then rinsing (at least it does on the leaves of my lemon tree) – Chris H Apr 20 at 14:32
  • Yeah, even brassica aphids come off after being immersed for 10 minutes. Which is why I'm asking the OP about their specific washing technique; I suspect that when they say "soaking" they don't mean "immersion". – FuzzyChef Apr 20 at 18:26

Meet the common aphid. These little insects suck sap from your salad and are totally harmless, should the occasional hitchhiker slip your attention.

To remove them, there are a few home remedies:

  • Soak the leaves in salted water (a tablespoon for a large bowl should do).
  • Or use a few dashes of vinegar instead.

Both soaking methods can be improved by gently agitating the leaves every now and then and if you use a bowl and let it overflow instead of dumping the lettuce in your kitchen sink, the aphids that float on the surface get carried away instead of reattaching themselves when you lift out the leaves.

Except for really heavy infestations (can happen to the most diligent the organic gardeners), I often simply rinse the little critters off the individual leaves under running water. Think of your faucet as a “mini pressure washer”: Don’t hold the leaves right under the faucet, but lower and let gravity help you. Then even a little water is surprisingly effective. In my experience lukewarm water works better than cold water, but I can only speculate why. Maybe because cold water makes the aphids “stiff” and they can’t let go? The most stubborn ones come off with a gentle nudge with your finger, fingernail or (if you are especially squeamish) a knife tip.


Put the lettuce in a bowl or in your sink, cover it with water so it's completely submerged, and add a couple splashes of vinegar. Let it soak for 10/15 minutes/up to half an hour and it should be bug free.

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