Beetle on Aesclepias plus Blue Spruce trees

Asked September 8, 2017, 2:10 PM EDT

I have many beetles on my tuberosa that I've not seen before. What should I do about them. See photo below. Our blue spruce trees have shed an unusually high volume of needles and are looking bad. Many of my friends have had the same experience this year. Is there som.ething going on in our area in that regard that I should be aware of

Howard County Maryland spruce milkweed milkweed bugs

1 Response

This looks like milkweed bugs on your asclepias. The milkweed bugs and the plants have coevolved together and usually the plant can tolerate the damage. Otherwise sweep the bugs into a container of soapy water.

Here is more information from the Missouri Botanical Gardens

If you have a monarch garden, add some nectar plants like asters and goldenrods. Monarchs benefit from these nectar plants in the fall as they continue their migration.

Blue spruce is susceptible to several fungal diseases such as rhisosphaeria needle cast and cytospora canker. Based on your description it sounds like a needle cast disease due to the wet summer. We recommend keeping the trees well watered during dry periods if possible. Mulch around trees to prevent wounding by lawn mowers and string trimmers. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. Prune dead wood during dry weather. No chemical controls are recommended. See our website