Do aphids harm milkweed plants?
I was under the impression that the oleander aphids aren't good for milkweed plants, that they suck the juices out of them. Is that true? Could they kill a plant? Or is it okay to leave them on the plant, and maybe the only harm they do to the plant is to make it unsightly due to the honeydew?
I learned some time back on here that ladybugs eat the aphids. I haven't seen many ladybugs this year. Has anyone else? Despite my not seeing many now, I'm sure before too long we'll have tons of the Asian ones here at our place. I used to like ladybugs when all that we had were native ladybugs, but after someone dragged the Asian ones over here, we've been getting swarms of them here in the fall and we can barely stand to walk outside (they bite). For probably about the past ten years the ladybugs have become a real nuisance in the house here in the winter (they get in by the thousands). It might not be a problem for someone who owns a fairly new house, but our house is very old.
From what I see on my milkweed plants, it would appear that the ladybugs aren't doing their job. I have tons of aphids. Do you think a person shouldn't kill the aphids because of the supposedly lower ladybug population (if we kill them, it could be detrimental to the ladybugs)? Just what would be the cause of the lower ladybug population this year? Maybe I shouldn't have killed so many oleander aphids last year, but there were thousands and thousands of them.