Ask a Question forum: What kind of bugs are these?

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Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
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Nhra_20
Sep 17, 2016 12:05 PM CST
These are all over my MILs milkweed
Thumb of 2016-09-17/Nhra_20/656c76

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 17, 2016 12:16 PM CST
Oncopeltus fasciatus, the large milkweed bug.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 17, 2016 12:40 PM CST
I've found them on my Tropical Milkweed in the past too
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 17, 2016 8:13 PM CST
Thank you, Dave, for asking -- and Sue, for answering! I've seen them on my milkweed too, and wondered what they were... :smily:

Edited to say:

On further review (as they say), maybe these aren't what I have seen here after all; I googled them and it looks like they aren't found in my area.
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[Last edited by Weedwhacker - Sep 17, 2016 9:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 17, 2016 9:37 PM CST
How big are they? I have something bright orange on my milkweeds that I assumed were large orange aphids. Maybe I should look more closely....
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 18, 2016 4:34 AM CST
The large milkweed bug is roughly half an inch long as a adult, Daisy, but the nymphs would vary from tiny upwards and they look different. This Bugguide picture shows both adults and nymphs:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/78348

There's also a small milkweed bug, Lygaeus kalmii, there's a good picture of one on the American Hemerocallis Society's web site, the bottom image. They usually have two white spots on their rear ends and the black and red pattern is slightly different from the large milkweed bug and it may be a little smaller:

http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/milkweed_bugs.html

Again the nymphs would vary from tiny upwards as they go through their growth stages, and would look different, like this:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=lygaeus+kalmii+nymph+bugguide...

These are "true bugs", but there are also a couple of red and black beetles that hang out on milkweed so if it doesn't look like either of the bugs above then that's another possibility. I mostly see the small milkweed bug around here.

Sandy, both large and small milkweed bugs occur in Michigan, here's a pic of the large one taken there:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/1116786/bgimage


Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 18, 2016 9:13 AM CST
I've had Aphids attack my Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) as well as Milkweed Bugs. Here are two photos for comparison.

Aphids on seedpods ........................... Milkweed Bugs on leaves
Thumb of 2016-09-18/plantladylin/cf2bdc Thumb of 2016-09-18/plantladylin/19b650

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 18, 2016 9:24 PM CST
"Sandy, both large and small milkweed bugs occur in Michigan, here's a pic of the large one taken there:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/1116786/bgimage "

Thanks, Sue -- I'm going to have to take a much closer look at my bugs next summer! Smiling
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 18, 2016 11:33 PM CST
My bugs looked just like Lin's aphids. Orange aphids. Who'd a thought? Anyway, I said 'looked' because the finch must have gotten them. Not a little orange bug in sight. Smiling
central Illinois
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jmorth
Sep 19, 2016 1:37 AM CST
Appears similar to the Box Elder Bug, their population can be massive suddenly and then, just as suddenly disappear. They can't bite and aren't a problem other than the fact that swarms of brightly colored insects kind of mar the serenity of fine garden views.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
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lauriebasler
Sep 19, 2016 2:56 AM CST
What ever they are they are ready for Halloween!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 19, 2016 4:51 AM CST
jmorth said:Appears similar to the Box Elder Bug, their population can be massive suddenly and then, just as suddenly disappear. They can't bite and aren't a problem other than the fact that swarms of brightly colored insects kind of mar the serenity of fine garden views.


Yes they are similar to boxelder bugs and I think milkweed bugs are often mis-identified as such. You really have to compare the markings of all three side-by-side.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 19, 2016 8:16 AM CST
jmorth said:Appears similar to the Box Elder Bug, their population can be massive suddenly and then, just as suddenly disappear. They can't bite and aren't a problem other than the fact that swarms of brightly colored insects kind of mar the serenity of fine garden views.


I remember a tree in the neighborhood where I grew up that was always covered with box elder bugs in the summer (I think it's the female trees that attract them?) -- ugh!! Bugs don't normally bother me, but when present in such mass quantities they're pretty gross, IMO. Sticking tongue out

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 19, 2016 9:08 AM CST
The Boxelder Bug and the Golden Rain Tree Bug both look similar to the Milkweed Bug. Someone told me these pictured below were Boxelder bugs but I've since learned differently. We had hordes of them all over the ground beneath our Golden Rain tree, all over the driveway, crawling up the side of the house ... Yech! Sticking tongue out

Golden Rain Tree Bug (Jadera haematoloma)
Thumb of 2016-09-19/plantladylin/982d69

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Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
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Nhra_20
Sep 19, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Box elder bugs are still around here. Seems like you never find a couple, always a mass horde. But they don't seem to cause any damage to anything, just an eyesore. But I'm sure some how they complete the natural cycle of life. I'll take these over hornets and wasps. I got stung by one in the stomach couple of days ago.

Thank you to everyone for your help
central Illinois
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jmorth
Sep 19, 2016 7:54 PM CST
@Weedwhacker
I think it's the other way around. I've a neighbor who has a female Box Elder, which is different from the Box Elder I have. I've had hordes of Box Elder Bugs a couple of times; thusly do I think they go for the male tree. I've pictures somewhere...
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Sep 20, 2016 7:51 AM CST
jmorth said:@Weedwhacker
I think it's the other way around. I've a neighbor who has a female Box Elder, which is different from the Box Elder I have. I've had hordes of Box Elder Bugs a couple of times; thusly do I think they go for the male tree. I've pictures somewhere...


I don't envy you having that tree, Jack -- whatever sex it may be! Sticking tongue out

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Sep 20, 2016 8:53 AM CST
DaisyI said:My bugs looked just like Lin's aphids. Orange aphids. Who'd a thought? Anyway, I said 'looked' because the finch must have gotten them. Not a little orange bug in sight. Smiling


If they are aphids, they will have the two "sticks" on the rear backs of the abdomens (easily seen on Lin's pic). Milkweed bug nymphs do not have these, and of course, they are orange and not yellow, as you say.

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