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They don't look like the images of aphids I see when I search Google. They don't move much and are about the size of a strawberry seed or sesame seed.

What are they, what's a good treatment for them, and, if they're washed off, is the existing spinach safe to eat?

Spinach with bugs

  • I think they are aphids, just a color not often seen. Wash them off and you are good to go. – kevinsky Apr 10 '15 at 0:11
  • @kevinsky We have freaky albino aphids? The problem with rinsing is that they hold fast to the leaves, even after extended soaking... We'd have to hand wash each leaf and find every little bug and scrape them off... and I'd prefer to not have the extra protein... if you will. – Catija Apr 10 '15 at 0:14
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They look like spinach leaf miner eggs to me. These are laid by the adult fly - once these hatch into larvae, they will burrow into the leaf tissue. They have 3 or 4 generations a year, unfortunately. You can rub them off, but if you have a heavy infestation, spray with neem. Rotate your leafy crops year on year; putting a net or cage for protection from the adult to stop the laying of eggs is a wise precaution before the crop gets going properly next time you plant.

Note there are white aphids - whitefly, but they, as the name suggests, fly.

  • Thanks for the answer! The only reason I'm not sure this is correct is that the "eggs" as you have it, have legs and obvious heads, though this may not be clear from the images. – Catija Apr 11 '15 at 21:48
  • Well then, obviously not leaf spinach leaf miner eggs - that detail is not visible in the photos. No idea what they are - there are aphids which don't move much on the leaf, even when disturbed, but they're not usually white. I'd use neem anyway, there are few choices given its an edible crop, and whatever they are, they won't like neem. – Bamboo Apr 12 '15 at 11:54

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