I've been seeing more and more of these bugs around the garden, especially at the back of the property where there are more wild butterfly weed plants growing this year than any year I've noticed before. When I started noticing the bugs on the butterfly weed I got suspicious - it didn't look like they were targeting the aphids also on the plants, and there would usually be one or two to a pod.
I learned my lesson with my first year gardening - "oh aren't you cute - I'll leave all you little baby bugs alone and see what you turn into" turned into an invasion of squash bugs and zero squash. Now if something catches my attention,I try to look it.
These are butterfly weed bugs, they mostly pierce the plant seed pods and suck out all the vital stuff the plant needs, and they concentrate the toxins in the plant in their own bodies so anything else that chomps them gets a bad taste and/or throws up.
Aside from all that, they're not a bad bug. But if you want butterfly weed, you absolutely don't want these guys.
Unfortunately, that means none of the other garden critters are gonna touch them, and I can't even flick them into the pond for the fish. (Fish puke -ew.)
So I scraped them all off and stomped them real good!
These pods, the first to dry on the plants and start having some seeds tease out, are going to the guy I buy eggs from.