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Iceberg Lettuce: How to Check for Bugs

lettuce-icebergIceberg Lettuce is frequently infested with insects and must be checked.

Look for: aphids, thrips and spider-mites.

How to check iceberg lettuce

1. Remove each leaf from the head.

2. Soak the leaves in a solution of vegetable wash and water. Enough vegetable wash should be used to make the solution feel slippery and sudsy. The solution should be in a vessel that is large enough to fit the product to be checked, and to allow an individual to vigorously agitate the product.

3. Agitate the product in the solution.

4. Remove the product from the solution. Direct a stream of water at each leaf, on both sides, and rub the leaves with your fingers during the process.

5. Check both sides of every leaf, using a light box.

If no insects are found, the entire head of lettuce may be used.

If even one insect is found, repeat the entire process.

Note: We have recommended both cleaning all leaves as well as checking all leaves. Though other products, in many cases, require only cleaning and a twenty per cent spot check (to see if the cleaning was effective), this product is difficult to check, and the spot check may not be accurate. Consequently, we have recommended two layers of procedures, both cleaning every piece and checking every piece.

If this is done on a number of separate occasions, and, in every instance the leaves show no infestation at all, one may, from then on, spot check only twenty per cent of the product (after following all the cleaning steps that we specified). If no infestation is found, all of the product may be eaten.