Insects drawn to milkweed plants
I understand that Monarch butterflies are drawn to milkweed plants and will lay their eggs on the leaves so I grow a few plants each year. This year the leaves on the plants have been covered in a clear very sticky substance. I have hundreds of red and black beetle type insects in large bunches on the pods, especially, and on the leaves. I also have a grey, thin insect with long legs and feelers which catches bumble bees and caterpillars, inserts a tube and slowly sucks the life from them. Any ideas on what I have created here? Earlier in the summer, I did have butterflies visiting the purple blossoms, but that stopped when the blossoms died and the pods developed.
Baltimore County Maryland
This is what growing native plants is all about. You are creating a small world where one insect becomes dependent on another for survival, birds will feed on some of these insects to maintain a balance. The sticky stuff was from the aphids,the milkweed beetle followed ( similar to boxelder beetle) than the predators .probably assinsin or wheel bugs. The monarch butterfly will only lay its eggs on the milkweed plant.Keep up the good work.