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Old 2022-06-02, 04:49   #42
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

23·7·107 Posts

Originally Posted by richs View Post
We've had good results using ladybugs on our aphid-infested milkweed that we grow for Monarch butterflies. The ladybugs suck the internal fluids out of the aphids.
In my experience, the yellow-orange Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) is the one that attacks Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).

From Bugguide, Aphis nerii - Oleander Aphid

Larvae of lacewings and lady beetles that feed on Aphis nerii may have developmental problems during pupation, and either emerge with deformities (especially of the wings), or fail to emerge at all.
So I'm leery of using predatory insects on these imported pests.

Luckily, they haven't attacked my Common Milkweed this year - at least not yet. I don't want to harm any Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippius) caterpillars that may be feeding on the leaves! Soap water might harm them. So if the dreaded Oleander Aphid attacks, I may simply clip off infested portions, or use alcohol-soaked swabs.

Ladybugs, being beetles, have chewing mouth parts. They simply eat aphids. Their larvae, which look like miniature lizards, really chow down on them. Lacewing larvae, AKA "aphid lions," also eat aphids.

BTW, if you happen to have Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), get rid of it! It harbors a protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha) of the Monarch butterfly. Replant with Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) or Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) which is a better garden plant than Common Milkweed, since it doesn't spread uncontrollably, and is not terribly tall.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2022-06-02 at 04:51
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