Should Gardeners Remove Milkweed Bugs? 

Horticulturalist Melinda Myers says, “These colorful insects are immature milkweed bugs. Adults are orange and black, flatter, and elongated like boxelder bugs.  

Try these methods if you still want no milkweed bugs on your milkweed. Starting with yourself, you can remove them. Jill advises “a strong squirt from the garden hose.”  

According to Melinda, milkweed bugs do not permanently damage milkweed plants, but big populations can crowd out monarch caterpillars.  

This is quicker and easier than hand-picking and squashing insects. Even organic insecticides can kill monarch caterpillars.  

Although they share names, milkweed bugs and assassin bugs are separate insects. Herbivorous milkweed bugs solely eat milkweed.  

Milkweed assassin bugs aren't as terrifying as they seem. They won't damage gardens and may even eliminate bugs gardeners loathe.

Milkweed assassin bugs devour monarch caterpillars and many other insects, including plant pests, says Jill Staake.   

You should let nature take its course unless there are no caterpillars.” Jill recommends hand-removal, but wear garden gloves because the pests sting.

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