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I noticed these tiny white bugs on several of my romaine leaves today. Detail is not great since it was a camera phone, but they're about 2mm in length and there are hundreds of them.

What are they and how can I get rid of them?

Does the lettuce they've been crawling all over need to be yanked up and thrown out...? =(

tiny white bugs zoom

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Are they aphids? –  bstpierre Mar 27 '12 at 11:45

2 Answers 2

These are nymphs of the whitefly insect a common garden pest. From comparing them to this picture I believe they are closely related to the cabbage whitefly.

They can be controlled with a spray of a mixture of dish soap and water, followed by a quick rinse with a hose. Ladybugs also eat them but convincing them to eat your bugs is another job.

They don't do a lot of damage to the plant if controlled promptly. You could spray soap and water, discard the worst affected leaves and harvest.

EDIT @gunbuster363 could be right that they are aphids. The way to tell is if when you shake the leaf does anything fly around. Whitefly will usually have some adults with wings whereas aphids are not usually seen with wings.

Soap and water works well on aphids too!

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None of them has wings. They are aphids. –  lamwaiman1988 Mar 28 '12 at 14:13

They are aphids. try neem oil.

You see they are gathering around the veins of your plant's leaves. They are sucking the juice.

Related questions : http://gardening.stackexchange.com/search?q=aphid

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