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How To Get Rid of Milkweed Bugs Quickly?

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Milkweed bugs are mostly seen feasting on milkweed plants. To get rid off these pests, first, you have to distinguish them from the other harmful butterflies. As many insects are present on milkweed plants, you need to be sure you are dealing with the right one. The most commonly seen ones are:

  • Large milkweed bugs.
  • Small milkweed bugs.

These black, red, and orange-colored winged insects are beneficial to the plants. This is because they help control the growth of invasive milkweed plants. It also acts as the food source and breeding ground for monarch butterflies; however, if these insects get out of control, its time to take action.

How To Get Rid of Milkweed Bugs
Large milkweed bugs

When the number of bugs increases, it may completely wipe out the milkweed plant population. Even the monarch butterfly species gets affected, causing an imbalance in the ecosystem.

So once you notice these pests in your garden, you need to educate yourself to find the right species. This helps you to eliminate them before they eat up your plants.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to get rid of milkweed bugs and prevent them from infecting your garden.

How To Get Rid of Milkweed Bugs?

Getting Rid of Milkweed Bugs From Your House

Have you seen milkweed bugs inside your house? Then they must have got inside either by riding on your pets or you or your family members.

Naturally, they don’t thrive indoors unless you have milkweed plants in your house. Hence its easier to eliminate them without any issues. You can follow any of the below methods to get the job done.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the pests in your rooms.
  • Wash your cats, dogs, or any other pets that might be the carrier of these insects.
  • Try to remove them manually, if possible. This is possible only if they are present in small numbers.
  • Dispose or thoroughly wash items, furniture, or clothing that haves these pests.
  • Solve the issue from the primary source. That is, if you have an infected plant inside your house, destroy the insects thriving at the plant source.

Getting Rid Of Milkweed Bugs From Your Garden

As for the ones that have infected your plants in your garden, you can destroy them using various harmless methods. Well, the process might not be easy as they reproduce in large numbers and at a faster rate.

You have to gather some patience to handle this infestation. Remain persistent and try various pest control measures until you find the one that works well for you. Then you can intensify the use of that technique to control the pests. Here are some of the conventional methods that are usually used.

  • By trimming or pruning the plants in your garden.
  • By removing the insects manually from the source.
  • With the help of pressure washer that force jet streams of water to eliminate the bugs.
  • As hot water kills most insects, you try using hot water to destroy them.
  • With the help of DIY dish wash soap liquids, you can eliminate these pests.
  • Using essential oil insect repellents is one of the effective methods to handle bugs naturally.
  • Also, attracting a large number of natural predators can solve this issue on a larger scale.

Things Required to Get Rid Of Bugs

To eliminate these pests from your house and garden, you need the following essentials. These are:

  • Garden gloves
  • Water hose
  • Grasscutter or trimmers
  • Essential oils
  • Spray bottles
  • Dishwashing liquids

Effective Methods to Get Rid Of Milkweed Bugs Naturally

There are various ways to handle the bugs from taking control of your plantation. Some tend to work quickly, whereas some need lots of patience and time.

However, there are no shortcuts! You need to keep trying to find the best method that helps you. Here are some of the natural techniques to ward off the large and small species.

how-to-get rid of yellow aphids on milkweed
Yellow Aphids on Milkweed

A. Remove Them Manually

This method is suitable only if the population of these pests is in limited quantities. You can spray them off using a powerful water source. The bugs can then be carefully collected with the help of garden gloves.

Or else you can run your hands through the plant and scoop them out to discard them. If they are only found here and there, it is much easier to pick them up and dispose of them.

1. Soap Liquid Sprays

This is one of the easiest methods to get rid of these insects. This is because you can easily make these DIY soap liquid at home, and they are not harmful.

Mix water and dishwashing liquid at a proportion of 1:1 ratio. Transfer this liquid into a spray bottle. Directly spray it onto the bugs that are visible on the plants

However, test it at a small portion of the plant initially. Wait and watch to see how the plant reacts. If you see color changes or burning effects, dilute the solution by adding more water to the mix.

As each plant differs based on the environment and region, you may have to use varying proportions that are suitable. Once you figure out the proportion, spray directly on the greens to destroy the bugs.

2. Pruning

Always keep your garden plants fresh and healthy by pruning them occasionally. This will naturally prevent the bugs from thriving in large numbers and forming colonies. It will also steer the bugs away from catching on and residing at a specific spot.

Hence keep your greens well pruned. Also, get rid of all those excess foliage that is getting accumulated at your backyard.

3. Limit Food Sources

The population of these pests can be naturally controlled by eliminating their food sources. This mainly includes smaller insects like caterpillars, beetles, and monarch larvae. With lesser food sources, the large population won’t be able to thrive well.

4. Essential Oils

These are well known to repel insects naturally, which also include the milkweed bugs. Essential oils are strong-smelling, effective oils that drive insects away from the plantations. Mix a few drops of peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oil with water and spray it directly at the insects.

The infesters tend to repel away due to the pungent smell. Reapply as many times as needed.

Note: Remember that essential oil are strong enough to burn plants. Hence test it at a small portion first before you use it to cover larger areas.

B. Natural Predators

As these insects release a harmful toxin, most predators tend to avoid them. Their bright colors also act as a warning sign to the predators.

However, there are some predators in your garden like the praying mantis who would love to feast on them. Larger animals like lizards, reptiles, geckos, and birds are known to be the other natural predators of this species.

praying mantis - How To Get Rid of Milkweed Bugs
Praying Mantis


Persistence and patience are key to get rid of these insects from your garden completely. You can also use various pesticides that are available in the market to handle this infestation, especially when it gets out of control.

Products like Ortho Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer with Comfort Wand are effective in eliminating insects within 24 hours. Also, Woodstream Safer Brand 5118 Insect Killing Soap targets and destroys these insects without affecting the environment.

Both are capable of controlling the bugs without harming the plants. Hope the methods mentioned above have turned out to be useful for you. In case of any queries, feel free to get in touch with us.