Subject: Yellow mites? Bugs? What are they?
Location: Northern IL – October
October 18, 2015 7:03 pm
While doing some fall cleanup today, I came across these interesting critters. We have a swamp milkweed plant in the yard (which has done a fine job attracting the butterflies – many monarchs this summer – yay!). I was cutting back the stalks of the milkweed and at the base of one of those stalks, I found this interesting collection of… something. At first I thought it was a fungus or mold, but then realized they had legs and were moving! They are a beautiful color – just wondering what they are? We are in northern Illinois.
Thanks for any help you can provide!
You have Milkweed Aphids, Aphis nerii, and according to BugGuide it is: “native to the Mediterranean, now cosmopolitan. Introduced along with its host plant, oleander. It has spread beyond the geographic distribution of this plant to the entire US and Canada.” Aphids are not considered beneficial insects as they suck the juices from plants while feeding.