How do you kill aphids without killing monarch caterpillars?

Asked By: Rosineide Niebla | Last Updated: 23rd March, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests beekeeping
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Soapy water may dislodge and kill more aphids, but it also is more damaging to the monarchs and can build up on the plant. Though tedious, dabbing aphids with cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is most effective. That kills them outright.

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Thereof, are aphids harmful to monarch caterpillars?

The good news is that aphids are not a direct threat to monarch eggs or larvae. Aphids will feed on the milkweed plant only; they won't spread to your other plants. They only tend to be problematic is the plant is very small or weak. We have had larger caterpillars eat the plant aphids and all!

Secondly, how do I get rid of aphids naturally? Remove aphids by hand by spraying water or knocking them into a bucket of soapy water. Control with natural or organic sprays like a soap-and-water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils. Employ natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings, and birds.

Likewise, people ask, how do you get rid of milkweed bugs naturally?

The easiest and most straightforward way to quickly get rid of milkweed beetles is to use some soapy water that you can easily make at home. Use a mixture of dish soap and water in a 1:1 ratio. Then pour this mixture into a spray bottle. You can then spray it directly onto the beetles on your plants.

How do I keep aphids off my plants?

Control and Prevention

  1. Try spraying cold water on the leaves; sometimes all aphids need is a cool blast to dislodge them.
  2. If you have a large aphid invasion, dust plants with flour.
  3. Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, and horticultural oils are effective against aphids.

39 Related Question Answers Found

What are the orange and black bugs on my milkweed?

The large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, is colored orange-red and black. It has a long proboscis and is a piercing sucking insect. It feeds on the seeds, leaves and stems of milkweed (Asclepias). The bodies of milkweed bugs contain toxic compounds derived from the sap which they suck from milkweed.

What do monarch eggs on milkweed look like?

Monarch eggs are small, roundish, and off-white. They are found on the underside of the milkweed leaf. There are, unfortunately, lots of small, roundish, and off-white things that turn up on the underside of milkweed leaves. Search the Internet for other pictures.

Do monarch caterpillars need water?

Monarch caterpillars get all the moisture they need from milkweed leaves. They don't need any extra sources of water.

How do I get rid of milkweed aphids?

Make sure to check for monarch eggs and caterpillars first! A mild solution of dish soap and water can also be used to kill aphids on milkweed plants (again, after monarchs have been removed). Spraying this solution directly onto the aphids effectively kills the insects.

What animal eats milkweed leaves?


Deer and rabbits have been reported to eat milkweed leaves, and there are many other insects that feed on milkweed such as milkweed bugs, tussock moths, queen butterfly larvae, and more. Nectar and pollen from milkweeds are important food sources for many pollinators, in addition to monarch butterflies.

What is a good insecticidal soap?

Fill a 1-gallon jug with water—either distilled or tap, as long as yours is not hard water (hard water reduces the effectiveness of insecticidal soap)—and leave a couple of inches at the top. Then add 2-½ tablespoons liquid dish soap (Dawn or liquid castile soap are good choices) and 2-½ tablespoons vegetable oil.

What plants repel aphids?

Marigolds, known for being able to drive away all kinds of pests, have a scent that keeps aphids far away. Catnip, known for attracting cats, also has a way of repelling most other pests, aphids included. Some other fragrant herbs, such as fennel, dill, and cilantro are also known to deter aphids.

Will soapy water hurt ladybugs?

Soft-bodied ladybug larvae are especially vulnerable to soapy household water and insecticidal soaps. Harsh soapy solutions may injure ladybugs at all life stages, but even gentle, common soap products kill beneficial ladybug larvae as surely as they kill harmful soft-bodied pests.

How long does it take for ladybugs to eat aphids?

Releasing ladybugs in a garden can control aphids in a limited area if they are handled properly and applied in sufficient numbers. Most of the ladybugs will fly away in a few days. In one study, about 95 percent flew away within 48 hours.

How do ladybugs control pests?


Release lady beetles at dusk or early evening. Lady beetles will fly away almost immediately if released during the heat of the day or where the sun is shining, so wait until evening to release them. Spray a fine mist of water on the plants before the release. Giving beetles a drink may keep them around longer.

How do you get rid of aphids without harming bees?

Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to the infested plants if the other measures don't work. This will kill any insects it touches but if you watch carefully you will be able to avoid applying the product to any bees. Insects that come after the oil or soap is applied won't be harmed by it.

Will ladybugs stay in my garden?

Since they won't all stay put in your garden, it's smart to purchase more than you will need. The best ladybug species for the garden are Hippodamia Convergens. These ladybugs are defined by the two white marks that are on their backs above the wings.

Can you drown aphids?

Place a yellow glass with a couple of drops of dish soap and water. The bugs will be attracted to it, and when they enter the glass filled with soapy water, they will drown.

What time of year do ladybugs come out?


If you want to encourage them to remain in your garden, the best time to release them is in the evening after sundown or in the morning before sunup. If it is winter, keep your ladybugs in their habitat during their entire life span.

Will soapy water harm bees?

Soap can kill bees and other insects because it is a surfactant—a substance that essentially makes water wetter. In the case of your dishes, molecules of fat surrounded by the soapy water are released from the dish and go down the drain.

Are milkweed tussock moths bad?

The adult Tussock Moth has a unique defense against bats, one of its main predators. Instead of tasting bad like many moths and butterflies, the moth imitates high pitched clicking sounds used by other bitter tasting moths.