I zoomed this photo in larger so that you can see that my so called orange flower buds on the ‘Whorled Milkweed’ are actually bugs! Bright orange bugs! They are so teeny-tiny that you need a magnifying glass to make out that these dots have legs…Don’t I feel stupid! When I got up really close and really studied the stems I realize those orange dots were moving, so they are not flowers. At one point I even thought they might be Monarch Butterfly Eggs until they started crawling around that is. I did some research on the internet yesterday and thought at first they might be the Milkweed Bug which is a beetle that sucks the juice from the plant. They have no predator per se because their diet makes them taste terrible to birds and other insects. Then I did some further research and found pictures that let me know this is the “Yellow Milkweed Aphid” which also sucks the juices from the plant, but their enemy is the Lady Beetle. Which is great news! I love attracting Lady Beetles to the garden, they are a wonderful beneficial insect. In addition, the information I read stated they don’t do any permanent damage to the plant which was my main concern. Hopefully they will co-exist with the Monarch Butterfly eggs. Anyhow I am still keeping an eye out for any butterfly activity in that area of the garden. I did notice something that look sort of like a cocoon. The pictures I kept trying to get of it were blurry. It was very tiny, grayish lump on the underside of one of the tiny leaves of the Milkweed. Hmmm…..
Orange bug infestation?