Feeding frenzy

These will not be pretty pictures. It’s hard to say what’s eating the milkweed faster, monarch caterpillars or aphids. For a poisonous plant, the milkweed sure provides a tasty treat!

A monarch caterpillar is unconcerned about aphid damage on the milkweed.
A monarch caterpillar is unconcerned about aphid damage on the milkweed.

There are lots of things to try to get rid of aphids. I prefer squashing and cutting off the infested tops and dunking them in water before discarding. Aphids drown fairly easily. You can also dab them with isopropyl alcohol. Just don’t harm the monarch eggs or caterpillars.

I also use the relocation method. Move the tiny babies (some use a paintbrush) to another leaf and cut the infected plant’s top off.

Relocated and rushing to the underside of the leaf
Relocated and rushing to the underside of the leaf

One thing I’ve noticed, the monarchs and aphids prefer the same leaves!They must be the tastiest.

Another one on an aphid leaf.
Another one on an aphid leaf.

In less than a month the caterpillars will be butterflies and on their way.Until then, hold on milkweed!

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