What was laid on my Ascelepias Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)?

Asked September 15, 2020, 1:58 PM EDT

Hello, I noticed a few of these yellow eggs on my milkweed a few days ago and now I've got an infestation of them all over many of the stems and seed pods. After looking at them with a magnifier, I can see they have 8 tiny black legs. Is this a beneficial insect or pest? Any suggestions on what I should do? Thanks, Carol Tompkins

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

This is a classic case of aphids on milkweed. Blast them off with a harsh water spray and repeat as needed, probably every day for a while.

No pesticides needed because the result would be the same.

You can get ahead of the game by starting with a physical dispatching of aphids. Put on gloves and squish as many as you can. (Yes, I know; it's truly an icky job, but it helps when someone does it.)

It's important to repeat the harsh water blasts because it's impossible to blast off all the aphids each time. The reason: Those that remain will continue to give live birth to an already pregnant aphid every 20 minutes!

By the way, limit your time outdoors during these smokey days. Air quality is extremely poor, ranging from unhealthy to hazardous for everyone.

Thank you so much for identifying the aphids and sending suggestions for removal I've squished and blasted with water... all while wearing my n95 mask. I'll wash, rinse and repeat as needed!

Thank you for the update. You're a tough gardener! Stay safe and be well.