Tiny insects on lettuce



I hope you are doing well.

I was wondering if you can help me with a bit of a worry I have. Last week I was pulling some salad (I believe escarole but not sure) from my garden as I have been doing all summer and I noticed these little critters on the leaves. Some were tiny and black while others were slightly bigger. I believe I saw one that looked partly orange as well. I have been gardening several years now and I don’t ever recall seeing these although I suppose it’s possible I just may have missed then in years past. I was wondering if you might know what they are. I have taken some pictures of them and although they are the greatest pictures I’m hoping you can see them and might know what they are. I am really hoping they are not ticks but I don’t know and was hoping you might know or maybe you can provide some information on where to send these pictures to someone who would know.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and stay safe.

Keep up the great work.


Hello again.  I’m not sure if your question (received October 24) was re-sent to us due to a computer glitch, but I see that your initial question concerning these insects came in on September 24 — we responded to your initial question, and it is published on-line. Please see the following: Insects on salad

It may be that you intended to simply provide us with a clearer photo of the insect, when you sent us your question yesterday. As noted in our September response to you, ticks have 8 legs – from your photo, however, we cannot clearly see details that might help identify the insect – even the number of legs it has!

If you remain concerned for health reasons that the insect is a tick, the City of Toronto, which provides advice and contact information for Toronto Public Health, see Lyme disease – Tick removal and submission .   As well, the City provides a link to a province-wide “tick identification” site, with an App that you can download – see eTick — scroll down  the page and you’ll see that this site provides information on how to recognize a tick, as well as  “Found a tick? Get it identified by our experts!”, with a further link.  The latter permits you to sign in from your computer as a guest, and asks you to provide your email address and you can submit photos to experts for identification.    Note too that Public Health Ontario may be of interest – see Tick Identification – Surveillance  – they may ask you to send in an insect specimen.