Note: Baby thrips can be found in the bulb portion of the scallion. The bulb area extends from the bottom of the scallion up to the area where the green shoots branch off. (This area is shown in the picture below.) Light green (translucent)/light brown thrips are found between the thin layers of the bulb and/or on the green shoots. The concentration of these insects is generally found on the portion of the scallion that includes the section where the green shoots branch off and approximately ¾ to 1 inch below that. Therefore, it is preferable to cut away this portion before you begin washing the scallion. Leaf miner worms can also be found, as indicated by narrow, zigzag trail patterns seen on the green shoots.
Confirmation Check for Leaf Miner Presence
Before beginning cleaning scallions, examine each scallion shoot for the presence of a leaf miner trail.
The shoots should be examined in a well-lit area or over a light box. Leaf miners leave a clear, easily discernible trail on the green shoot. If a trail is found, cut away that portion of the shoot or discard the entire shoot on which the trail was found.
Steps for cleaning scallions
1. Cut out ½ to ¾ of an inch from the middle section of the scallion connecting the green shoot to the white bulb. This section is where the scallion branches off. Thrips can be concentrated in this section of the scallion shoot.
2. Slit open both the remaining top and bottom sections of the scallion.
3. Take the bulb section (white portion) and, with your fingers, carefully loosen the thin layers, an area in which the insects can be hiding.
4.While holding the scallion under a strong stream of water, rinse the entire scallion. While rubbing your finger on the scallion, allow the water to flow between the layers of the scallion, including the top portion (shoot) of the scallion.
5. After the above steps are followed, no further inspection is necessary.
NOTE: The scallions will not look pretty after this process is done. However, they can be chopped or diced after this process is completed.