Subject: Red and black bug
Geographic location of the bug: Alexandria, VA
Time: 12:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi, these guys have recently showed up. They are black and red, and are all over my Milkweed
How you want your letter signed: Nicole
Many people plant milkweed because of Monarch Butterflies, but there are a host of insects that depend upon milkweed for survival, including these Large Milkweed Bug nymphs, Oncopeltus fasciatus. According to iNaturalist: “Juvenile O. fasciatus require the seed of milkweed plants for development and growth. Adults can survive on other types of seeds such as: sunflower, watermelon, almond and cashew, as shown in lab populations. Nymphs live in large groups of about 20 individuals on the plant.” Since they feed on the seeds and not on the plants, they will not damage the milkweed and there will be plenty of leaves for Monarch caterpillars to feed upon.