OK to eat basil once cleaned?

(Question)

I brought my basil plant inside and it has little black bugs.  I washed the leaves and want to know if it is OK to eat the basil once cleaned.

 

(Answer)

That depends on what you’ve cleaned it with.The black bugs are likely spider mites, which can hide amidst plant debris or on the soil surface. You can just spray them off the leaves with water, e.g., at the kitchen sink – do this every couple of days until they are gone. If the basil plant looks tempting to eat, go ahead and do so.

However, if you have used a soap to clean the basil, check the ingredients of the soap to determine if you can eat the basil. For example, mild dish soap that you use to rinse your dishes should leave little residue and is not toxic. However, it may take some time for certain chemicals in an insecticidal soap or other chemical spray to be entirely gone from the basil.

References

Lynn A. Basil plant and mites. Home Guides. SF Gate.http://homeguides.sfgate.com/basil-plant-mites-38804.html

Richters. Trying to save basil.https://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=QandA/Growing/19980331-84.html

UC Davis. Spider mites. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7405.html

UC Davis. Spider mites. Compare Risks of Pesticide Active Ingredients. http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/PNAI/pnaicompare.php?pn=7405&x=77&y=20