Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Milkweed Bug.
Updated: 7/11/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
There are plenty of Milkweed Bugs to be found in the eastern states with a variety of looks at different life stages.
Adult Milkweed Bugs do not seem to damage flowers, vegetable gardens or field crops, but they are usually found in large clusters, which sets off alarm in most people. They drink the nectar of various plants in addition to the milkweed plant.
Adults may be seen in huge numbers on warm winter days. They overwinter, waiting for spring, and may be fooled by a suddenly warm day and venture out. This species lays bright red eggs that hatch in the spring. Nymphs start out a bright red with black antennae (seen in the photo with adults). As the nymphs mature, they begin to gain black spots and start turning orange. The medley of colors at the older nymph stage is quite lovely (see photo gallery).