Asked September 22, 2020, 2:35 PM EDT

Can you please identify the insects in the attached photo and let us know if they are beneficial insects that should be preserved?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

These are nymphs (juveniles) of a Milkweed Bug, and while perhaps a very mild pest, they are more of a nuisance and do not warrant treatment with any sort of insecticide. They feed on milkweed seed sap and do not cause measurable damage to the plant. If undesirable, you can try blasting them off with a strong jet of hose water or knocking them into a bucket of soapy water to drown. Otherwise, treatments to be rid of them can cause harm to other Milkweed insects (like juvenile Monarch butterflies and predators of aphids).