I raise caterpillars to monarchs. I have a lot of milkweed that are getting diseased and getting dark reddish black spots on the leaves that are dangerous for my caterpillars. I found lil tiny red bugs on a lot of the leaves. I’m wondering what they are called and if it’s best to just pull the bad leaves off or pull the plant or trim the plants by cutting the branch which I did today! How can I control this?
Bugs on Milkweed
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is hard to deal with when you have creatures that you want to keep alive. I would advise using neem oil in a very low dose to spray the plants. This will make the pests leave, and will not kill your caterpillars. They may not be attracted to your plants for a bit, but they will soon return.
It can be difficult to control pests when you have other things that you want to stay alive, unfortunately. There is another option that I could recommend though. You can use predator bugs, such as mantis.
Can you include a photo of the pest? This can help me identify it and possibly recommend the best way to control these.