What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug on my Gay Butterflies
Location: Central Texas
June 1, 2011 7:22 pm
I went out to water our flowers this evening and noticed these bugs on my Gay Butterflies. As you can see from the attached photo, there are plenty of them. I have not been able to identify them from my searches and would like to identify if they are harmful to our flowers or if they will be okay to leave alone. The bugs have 6 legs, 2 antlers/feelers, and what looks like two feelers or antlers on their back behind their back legs. We have a lot of lowers in the flower bed (26 to be exact) and the gay butterflies are the only thing that seems to attract these critters.
Signature: Derrick

Milkweed Aphids

Hi Derrick,
You definitely have Aphids, and we have never heard of a plant called a Gay Butterfly, but it appears to be a milkweed, which would be strong evidence that your Aphids are Milkweed Aphids,
Aphis asclepiadis.  They do match the images posted to BugGuide.  Using pesticides may compromise the butterflies you are hoping will be attracted by the plant.  We would suggest a strong spray of water from the hose to remove the Milkweed Aphids.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Texas

2 Responses to Milkweed Aphids

  1. Dustin says:

    I have milkweed plants in my backyard, I had two last yr and they attracted monarch butterfly caterpillars which I looked after until they emerged, I left the milkweed in hoping to get more but thousands of these aphids have attached to these plants. I don’t want to get rid of them because I’m a big fan of bugs and insects and would feel bad killing them. I just hope I’m not harbouring pests that will destroy plants in the neighbourhood. I had the monarch caterpillars by this time last yr they aren’t here this yr so I was thinking about removing the plants but I don’t want to kill these little guys. Any info I can get would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    • bugman says:

      If there aren’t any natural predators like Lady Beetles or Lacewings to feed on the Aphids, you can try hitting the plants with a hose to dislodge the Aphids. Milkweed Aphids will also feed on oleander which is often planted as an ornamental shrub in gardens.

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