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

enter image description here

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

  • 3
    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
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 3:48
  • How do you soak the lettuce leaves? Because a 10-minute immersion should have done for that bug.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 5:14
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    How much vinegar to water? I doubt that much below 50% vinegar would have any affect on the aphid you see in this picture. They certainly won't drown in 10 min. You could try adding a little soap to enhance wetting of the aphid and promote drowning by reducing the surface tension of the water.
    – bob1
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 4:41
  • @FuzzyChef I soaked them for 10 minutes and I cleaned them individually by hand, the bugs were really holding on because even after seeing them and running them under water they didn't seem to move. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 12:01
  • @bob1 Oh its usually not much vinegar, i noticed that when i add too much vinegar the lettuce starts to taste like it. Also I used apple cider vinegar, should I use white vinegar instead? When you say soap, do you mean dish soap? If so, how much and for how long should the lettuce be in there? Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 12:04

2 Answers 2


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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