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Jun 27, 2016 10:54 PM CST
|There are lots of tiny little red bugs on our milkweed seed pods? Are they harmful? If so, how do we get rid of them without harming the monarch catapillars?|
Also, I have seen a Jay looking up into the plants. Do we have to worry about birds eating the catapillars? If so, how do we scare away the birds without disturbing the hummingbirds?
Jun 28, 2016 3:43 AM CST
| there are two milkweed bugs, large and small:|
and also a milkweed beetle:
Do any of those look like your red bugs?
Regarding the birds, apparently some can eat monarch caterpillars despite the toxin:
Jun 28, 2016 6:56 PM CST
|My milkweed plants get covered in aphids, I use neem oil.|
Jun 28, 2016 8:20 PM CST
|I just gently spray the bugs off with water - the hose set on a fine mist gets rid of the bugs but can't wash off the caterpillars. They hold on pretty tight.|
I've had blue jays eat my black swallowtail caterpillars before, but not the monarchs. Not much you can do except put out some seeds for the birds so they aren't quite so hungry.
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Jun 29, 2016 4:33 AM CST
|The milkweed bugs and milkweed beetles probably won't be as affected by spraying with water as the less mobile pests like aphids. Aren't the aphids on milkweed usually yellow/orange rather than red? Roger, are you asking if your red bugs are harmful from the point of view of the milkweed or the monarchs? If the bugs are damaging the seed pod and you want to save seeds they might be a problem. Otherwise I wouldn't be concerned about them. Since they are on the pods I suspect they are the nymphs of one of the two milkweed bugs rather than the beetles, but if you can ID them from the links posted earlier, or post a picture of them here, we can help more.|
Adding some more pics here:
Jun 29, 2016 7:16 AM CST
|Roger, I am a miserable failure at getting milkweed seeds to germinate. I have several kinds. Is it too late to try to plant some indoors or outdoors? Do I need to wait till next year? Any tips are much appreciated! |
"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8