agrokid
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Romaine lettuce little black bugs identification?

Hello again fellow gardeners!

Could anyone identify what are those bugs on my romaine lettuce?
I thought these were black aphids BUT water-soap-alcohol insecticide (my favourite anti-aphid homemade recipe) doesn't seem to seriously affect them.....

They seem to prefer the inner leaves for residing, which makes it difficult to locate. Given that all infected lettuce are closing their outer leaves over the new growth, they are really tough to locate without hurting the plant. They also don't seem to be doing any visible harm, but their population is pretty big on most of the infected plants.

All my plants that still have their heads "open" don't seem to be infected at all.

Finally a couple of pics:

[img]https://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd456/agroxolos/1.jpg[/img]

one more...

[img]https://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd456/agroxolos/2.jpg[/img]

Thank you all people!

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applestar
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They look like black aphids to me as well, though more like black version of the green and red ones than the oily shiny black one I get on my cherry trees. They do look like the ones I got on my broadbeans last sprin. They also look a bit similar to the grey frosty looking ones I had on the kale. I also get yellow with black legged kind on my milkweed that seem related to the black lilies on the cherry.

All these types have been more difficult to deal with than the green and red ones I tend to get on my indoor plants and on lettuce. I've had better luck when the ladybugs moved in than doing anything myself. They crawl into all crevices and hiding spots to seek and destroy. :twisted:

You could buy live ladybugs. One way to ensure they stay is to cover your lettuce with floating covers or screen material like tulle.

agrokid
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Well, I'm afraid there are not any ladybugs available in the area currently...

As most of the crop is ready to be harvested i suppose thorough washing before eating should do. (I guess I'll have to do it myself because if my gf sees them she will freak out :shock: )...

Thanks so much applestar!

MrBoZiffer
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I've got something similar too. I guess these are aphids also.

[img]https://i563.photobucket.com/albums/ss71/mrboziffer/garden/DSC_0122.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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Nope, BoZ, I'm not thinking yours are aphids. Are yours like the ones discussed/ shown in this thread?

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35952
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MrBoZiffer
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Thanks RG, I did see that thread. Mine aren't very brightly colored and they seem to look a bit different than those nymphs.

Aphids or not, they behave the same way agrokid mentioned: they hang out at the center of the lettuce. They look harmless and washed right off.

leejul
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how to get rid of the black bugs on lettuce

I have a big infestation of black bugs on the backs of the leaves of butternut lettuce and I would like to know what they are and how to get rid of them. They look like the ones on the pictures of lettuce in this blog.

imafan26
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They do look like brown aphids.
If you have ants around, set out ant bait.

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r441301511.html
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/KEYAPHIDGRAIN/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

fuentes60616
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Re: Romaine lettuce little black bugs identification?

HI,

I purchased a bag of organinic Foxy Romaine lettuce that were infested with these bugs. Is it safe to serve even after I wash the heads?

Others heads were heavily infested and I had to throw away.

Thanks :)

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applestar
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Re: Romaine lettuce little black bugs identification?

In a funny sort of way, I'm relieved to see bugs on organic produce because that makes it more likely that poisonous chemicals were NOT sprayed recently on them.

...when you grow your own, you do get used to seeing a certain amount of bug infestation. It takes three thorough dunking rinses to get most of them off enough to bring inside, then
I might rinse one more time before serving if stored. Slightly salty or vinegary water helps to make them let go better -- think of it as pre-flavoring :wink:

Sucking insects like aphids in excess can make the lettuce limp and lose color (green chlorophyl sucked away, and consequently less nutritious) but otherwise they are not harmful.
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imafan26
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Re: Romaine lettuce little black bugs identification?

You can use a jet of water to blast off the aphids and thrips from lettuce while it is growing. Organic pesticiades are allowed like insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil, or neem. When you harvest, the best thing to do cull the most damaged heads and wash each leaf separately. Studies have shown that 1:3 concentration of vinegar to water with a little lemon juice added does kill some bacteria but does not kill any crawlies like thrips, aphids and slugs. The most efficient way to clean produce was with clean hands, clean surfaces, and lots of clean water washing each leaf separately.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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