Milkweed bugs

Asked September 23, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

My milkweed pods are filled with orange and yellow bugs. Shall I do anything about that?

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Milkweed Bugs do not harm the plant itself . However, they do destroy the seeds viability. Milkweed bugs use their beak or rostrum to pierce and feed on milkweed seeds which will make the seeds inviabile. The damage is often difficult to see.

If you were planning on collecting seeds for planting, do not collect open pods with numerous milkweed bugs on the seeds or pods. Avoid introducing milkweed bugs into the bags in which you are placing pods.

After you have made your collection, spread out the pods and remove any milkweeds bugs you find on the pods or seeds. The pods can then be re-bagged in the onion bags and hung up to dry.

Inspect the bags from time to time to be sure that no milkweed bugs have been missed during your inspections.