Garden Pest Control

Milkweed Bugs (Reddish-Orange)

SashasMum added on July 12, 2016 | Answered

I was stung by a bug today while changing my oriole feeders in my backyard. I live in Southern California - Orange County. When I looked down, I saw what I thought was a milkweed beetle (I have numerous milkweed plants for the monarchs in my yard) on my leg. I have been hand-killing them as they devour the milkweed plants. I could not shake it off and the sting felt like a bee sting. It left a tiny stinger in my leg that I easily pulled out. When I looked up milkweed beetles, it noted they do not have stingers so they cannot sting. Is this accurate? While I do have honey bees in my yard (they are given two hummingbird feeders to feast on, leaving the hummers and orioles about 20 feeders to themselves, mostly), none of them are ever aggressive with me. I swear the colors I saw at the time of the sting was a reddish-orange and smallish, exactly like a milkweed beetle. The wings were extended in righteous revenge. I'm not allergic so I guess it doesn't really matter; curiosity is what I have. Thank you.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 14, 2016

This could certainly have been a Wasp in the garden. They are often attracted to Milkweed, just as the Bees and Butterfly's.

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