I haven’t been over to the bed where my milkweed is for a few days, and imagine my surprise when I did. It was covered with reddish-orange and black bugs called “Milkweed Bugs” and yellow aphids called “Oleander Aphids”. I guess the question is are these bad bugs or good bugs? The answer is bad bugs. Milkweed bugs feed on the milkweed seeds and suck the juices from the new growth and the aphids also suck the juices from the plant. So what can be done to get rid of them. Since milkweed is one of the host plants for Monarch butterfly larvae, chemical treatment is not recommended. Milkweed bugs have few predators, as they concentrate the bad tasting toxins found in the sap of milkweed plants in their bodies. Hand picking is about the only choice. In severe cases, such as mine, take a small bucket of soapy water and brush the bugs into the water, where they will not survive. Unlike the milkweed bug, oleander aphids have a number of parasites and predators, such as tiny wasps, flower fly larvae and small lady beetles. I wouldn’t worry too much about the aphids just continue to monitor the situation. If it looks like the plant is deteriorating too badly, you can try knocking the aphids off with a stout spray of water or by knocking them off into a soapy water solution.