Please click on image to ENLARGE view of milkweed bug on spider milkweed plant on May 19, 2010.
Please do not spray anything on or near your milkweed. Simply pluck the bugs off by hand. OK, if you are squeamish, wear gloves. Any spray used would also kill the eggs, larva or caterpillers of monarchs that already have visited the plant, totally defeating the purpose of protecting the milkweed. Another important thing to remember: Do not remove the milkweed stem if the caterpillars eat all the leaves! The plant will grow from the roots next year and pulling the stem may disrupt the root. The old stem is the easiest marker of where to expect next year's stems to appear and to remind you NOT to dig there! Sometimes, depending on rain and sun and factors I can't guess, milkweed roots will put up new shoots later in the growing season and benefit a later monarch generation the same year.