Can I eat Basil that has Spider Mites on it

eriknJuly 29, 2010


Just wondering if I rinse off the spider mites, if the basil is safe to eat.

thank you,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Do you know how many bugs you have probably already eaten in your life let alone things chewed or walked on by bugs? Yes, rinse off your basil and use like normal.

My momma always said that, "you'll eat a pound of dirt in your life." I wonder just how many pounds of bugs? ;)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

The worst that can happen is that they will colonize your intestines before building nests in your aorta. But the chances of that are really small, if you rinse them thoroughly.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Very funny, NY.

Did you know that many processed foods have an 'accepted level of insects and insect fragments'? There's no way they can keep all of the critters out of grains and flours, for example. Same for rodent hairs and other gifts.

Erik, put a little dish detergent in the basin when you wash your spinach. That will also help dislodge any mites. But it won't harm you to ingest spider mites, I promise. Just floss your teeth afterwards.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Think of it as extra protein.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen this question before, and though it is old, couldn't help responding.

Yes, they are certainly edible. In large quantity the mites and their eggs add a certain oddly sweet taste and an indescribably, but not entirely unpleasant, odor to the plants.

I had a massive infestation. Like the name suggests, my indoor garden is virtually ruled by itself with it's fully automated watering, feeding, and lighting systems I designed to keep my plants growing healthy for up to three months without human interaction (not weed lol, it's an experimental project for nearly independent plant growth in space stations or colonies, where controlling these pests would be so much more simple). So I didn't catch the infestation in time, as I was away for a month and a half.

I quickly resolved the issue by boiling my entire garden and eating everything (except the roses and jasmine); plant matter, spider mite webbing, and mites and eggs alike. And then cycling the dirt and roots through the oven on the bake setting to take care of any stragglers. Finally turning off the lights in the sealed room for four months before restarting the garden prevented a reoccurance (and not accepting any donated plants any more, as the mites came in on a pretty Trojan horse, a hybrid rose bush, that I failed to isolate and observe for a long enough duration before putting it into the garden), damn my hastiness, three years of work down destroyed.

Just keep in mind that prolonged spider mite infestation reduces the immune system of your plants, so they're more susceptible to other nastier growths and infestations that you may not want to eat.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chervil2(z5 MA)

On the positive side, the presence of spider mites shows that your plants are clean of poisonous insecticides. I much prefer eating insect attacked plants over broad spectrum toxins.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Starting & Growing Mandrake
Hello! So, I was lucky enough to receive 5 Mandrake,...
Leaning Basil
I have this basil I grew from a cutting and since I...
Mitsuba and perilla
I have tried growing mitsuba and a few types of perilla...
Urgent Rosemary Help!
A family member bought me a beautiful rosemary plant...
When can you plant Cilantro seeds in your Garden?
I'm in Zone 5, I know Cilantro can tolerate some cool...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™