Subject: insects on milkweed plants
Geographic location of the bug: Manhattan Beach, CA
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
What is it? Have never seen it before in 20 years at this location. Is it beneficial or a bit of a problem? These plants also get hit by yellow aphids – I am hoping these red and black beauties eat aphids
How you want your letter signed: Sue Randolph
These are Large Milkweed Bugs, and they will not harm your milkweed plants, but they do feed on the seeds and seed pods, which does not harm the plant, but will reduce the number of viable seeds for next year. Like many insects that feed on milkweed, Large Milkweed Bugs have aposomatic or warning coloration. Large Milkweed Bugs are also reported to feed on oleander. Many True Bugs that feed on plants are also reported to feed on smaller insects, and we would love to fantasize that Large Milkweed Bugs might occasionally feed on Oleander Aphids.
Thank you – I will let them enjoy themselves 🙂