If you’re a gardener, you may see large milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) feeding on the elongated seed pods of milkweed plants this fall. Their presence in large numbers on milkweed plants is thought to be more of a nuisance than detrimental as they do not cause much damage to the plants. The large milkweed bugs acquire the foul taste and toxicity of the host plant as it feeds on its seeds. An unknowing predator who does not heed the warning of the bug’s bright colors and bold striping will be unpleasantly surprised and sickened by their bad taste!
-Posted by Erin Ramsden, horticulture