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


3 Answers 3


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 : https://gardening.stackexchange.com/search?q=aphid


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!

  • None of them has wings. They are aphids. Mar 28, 2012 at 14:13

Those look like white flies. I get them very often in my garden and have found neem oil to be very effective. I use the recipe below from boogiebrew.net website they sell the neem + soap combo but you don't have to buy from them you can find pure cold pressed neem + Dr. Bronner's Sal-Sud on amazon pretty cheap:

  1. Use 2 tablespoons, (per gallon), of Neem oil with an equal quantity, (1:1), of Dr Bronner’s “Sal-Suds” brand soap, (this particular Dr Bronner’s soap can be found in your local health-food store’s laundry and dish-detergent section; it is very kind to both plants and the environment).
  2. SHAKE a small jar of warm water with the Neem oil and soap added to the jar first. Shake the contents thoroughly until the oil has become completely emulsified by the Dr Bronner’s Sal-Suds soap.
  3. Pour the resulting concentrated “Neem-Milk” liquid into your 1 or 2 gallon sprayer and then go to town spraying your plants’ entire leaf foliage; they will love you for it! Use this ultra-effective recipe anywhere from 1 to 2 or even 3 times per week, (depending on pest or disease pressure).

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