Question and Answer

What's eating my milkweed?

Despite milkweed's toxicity, there are many creatures other than monarchs that eat the leaves of this amazing plant. Deer and rabbits have been reported to eat milkweed leaves, and there are many other insects that feed on milkweed such as milkweed bugs, tussock moths, queen butterfly larvae, and more. Nectar and pollen from milkweeds are important food sources for many pollinators, in addition to monarch butterflies. In addition to attracting pollinators, milkweeds support a wide variety of insects that attack crop and garden pests (Milkweed: A Conservation Practitioners Guide). For more information on the milkweed ecosystem, visit and click on Milkweed Resources. A great field guide to what's in the milkweed patch is Milkweed, Monarchs and More (Ba Rea, Karen Oberhauser, and Michael Quinn).

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