How to Get Rid of Milkweed Bugs

Here is how to get rid of milkweed bugs naturally, using chemicals and other pest control strategies.

Milkweeds are herbaceous plants known for their milky sap and are targeted by many bugs and pests.

These pests destroy or damage milkweeds when not identified and treated early enough. To prevent damage, knowledge is needed on how to get rid of milkweed bugs.

How to Kill Milkweed Bugs

This article takes a look at basic control methods to adopt.

With these, you’re able to rescue your plants from further damage. Also, knowing these control strategies helps with better prevention.

As you read this article, you’ll learn all the basics about milkweed bug control.

Milkweed Pest Control Guide

When it comes to milkweeds, there are lots of pests that target the plant.

Examples include the oleander aphid, giant milkweed bug, aphid, red milkweed beetle, spider mites, blue milkweed beetle, thrips, Japanese beetle, whiteflies, Agromyzidae, Cerambycidae, weevil, and Lygaeidae.

More destructive bugs include snails & slugs, lacewings, ladybugs, and milkweed leaf beetle. So, are milkweed bugs nasty? In other words, do they cause significant damage to the plant?

These bugs don’t pose a significant challenge regarding the degree of damage caused by milkweeds.

However, their presence and activity affect the plant in some ways, like crowding out monarchs and deformation of pods. These can become real concerns for many gardeners, hence the need to find a ready solution to this pest problem.

Getting Rid of Milkweed Assassin Bugs

After identifying a milkweed bug problem, the logical step is to find ways to contain the situation. Getting rid of milkweeds isn’t as difficult or complex as you think.

However, you need to know precisely how to go about the process. One of the ways to get things done includes attracting natural predators.

Other tips on milkweed bug control include hosing them down, rubbing them out, using plant repellents, and eliminating food sources.

Milkweed bugs can also be gotten rid of through pruning, use of essential oils, using soapy water, applying coffee grounds, and drenching them with alcohol.

Sucking out milkweed bugs will help you get rid of them. These techniques and many others will help you get the results you seek. The good thing here is that you have multiple options to choose from.

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Let’s discuss each of these for more clarity on how they work.

i. Attracting Natural Predators

You’ll need to consider one of the safest methods to eliminate milkweed bugs.

This involves introducing natural predators. Now, there aren’t many predators known to feed on these bugs. It’s believed that the toxic milkweed fed on by these pests makes them distasteful to predators.

Unfortunately, not many predators are known. Those that may mistakenly feed on milkweed bugs include geckos, birds, rabbits, deer, lizards, etc.

ii. Hosing them Down

Have you ever considered using a simple technique such as hosing to dislodge milkweed bugs?

Simple as it may sound, hosing does a lot to keep your plants free of damage. However, hosing treatments must be done so that plant stems aren’t broken. Another option is to use a spray bottle.

iii. Rubbing them Out

Simply rubbing off milkweed foliage using their fingers and thumbs will be preferable for some people. It’s also an alternative that works to get rid of these bugs.

If you aren’t scared of making contact with these, it will be a quick way to get the job done. Plus, milkweed bugs won’t harm you.

iv. Using Plant Repellents

Certain plants are known to repel milkweed bugs.

A few of these include marigolds and onions. To have any tangible results, you’ll need to grow these close to your milkweed plants.

While helping to attract valuable insects like butterflies, these plants also keep pest numbers down. Repellent plants may not completely repel milkweed bugs but will limit their population.

v. Pesticides

Will pesticides kill milkweed bugs? They would.

However, you’re likely to harm other beneficial organisms like monarchs due to harsh chemicals in professional-grade insecticides.

So, you’ll do well with organic pest control methods to eliminate milkweed bugs.

vi. Pruning

Pruning enables you to control milkweed bug populations.

This action ensures the reduction of milkweed foliage mainly targeted by these bugs. With limited vegetation left, the number of bugs is significantly reduced.

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For pruning to be effective, it needs to be done periodically.

vii. Use of Essential Oils

One of several organic methods to repel milkweed bugs involves using essential oils. The strong-smelling oil usually helps a great deal in pest control.

However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have desired results as such may be affected by multiple factors, including incorrect application.

viii. Using Soapy Water

Soapy water does a world of good when used against milkweed bugs.

It’s also one of the simplest methods to adopt. All you have to do is get your preferred dish soap and water. These should be mixed in a 1:1 ratio and applied using a spray bottle.

You’ll need to target these bugs while spraying. To safeguard your plant, consider applying to a limited area. Wait to see how it reacts. Any discolorations will require further dilution of the mixture.

ix. Applying Coffee Grounds

While this is being touted as among the milkweed bug control strategies, there’s no definite proof that it works. Here, it’s believed that sprinkling coffee grounds around the plant and pests effectively contains them.

Although there are doubts, experimenting won’t be a bad idea.

x. Drenching with Alcohol

Alcohol can be an excellent ally for milkweed bug control. Here, all that’s needed is some isopropyl alcohol poured into a spray bottle.

Drench these bugs with the alcohol and wait for about 5 seconds before hosing the plant with water. This strategy effectively kills milkweed bugs.

xi. Sucking them Up

Another technique for getting rid of milkweed bugs from plants involves some level of creativity.

Here, you’ll need to get your vacuum machine. Although your regular vacuum machine will serve the purpose, you might want to use a smaller one such as those used on keyboards.

This helps suck up all milkweed bugs without hurting the plant. You may want to do this periodically for the best results.

The methods discussed above can be followed to eliminate milkweed bugs. None of these requires a complex procedure as anyone can use them.