milk week infestation

Asked August 27, 2019, 4:45 PM EDT

We have two types aphids on our milkweed. One is tiny and yellow and the other type is a bit larger and red. We also have black and red buys on it about the size of a box elder. This year is the first year we have had them and they are killing the plants. I have used soapy water but I know it is not good for the Monarchs. Even with the soapy water, the bugs, especially the yellow aphids? have taken over. What can I do? I know it is late in the season but I am still seeing caterpillars. I would like to know for next year.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

There are several color forms of aphids. It sounds like you may be seeing oleander aphids, a common visitor on milkweed plants. These can be dislodged with a strong spray of water from a hose, or wear garden gloves and squish them by hand. Here is more information.

The red and black bugs sound like milkweed bugs. Unless you intend to save seeds from your milkweed, no control is needed. They are mainly a nuisance pest. Otherwise sweep the bugs into a container of soapy water.
Refer to this article for information about them.