aphids

Non-native Eurasian oleander aphids (Aphis nerii) coat pod of milkweed plant. Dianne Crary Photo

Dianne Crary observed this infestation of oleander aphids on her sister Jane Crary’s milkweed plants. Although spiders and ladybugs eat these aphids, there was no time to wait, because milkweed is the preferred food of monarch butterfly caterpillars.

“How can I control aphids on my milkweed?” is one of the most common questions posed by butterfly gardeners.

Dianne removed them by hand, squishing them or spraying them with soapy water. Check your milkweed plants often for aphids to remove them before an infestation gets a foothold.