The red milkweed beetle, known scientifically as the Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, lives primarily in the eastern United States and Canada. It prefers warm areas and feeds exclusively on the milkweed plant. The scientific name means "four eyes," which describe the spots on the back of the beetle's head, which gives it the appearance of having four eyes. It is identifiable by its orange-red body with black spots. Although the red milkweed beetle isn't dangerous and can even be beneficial, if you want to remove it from your garden or home, there are a few steps you can take.

Milkweed is the sole food source for the red milkweed beetle

Step 1

Remove its food source. Red milkweed beetles only exist where their food source exists. By removing any milkweed from near your home, you will drive the beetles away to find a different location. Milkweed can be killed using a general herbicide or it can be removed by hand.

Step 2

Mix a pepper or garlic spray solution. Combine 3 oz. of chopped garlic or chopped hot peppers, 2 tsp. of oil, 1 pt. of water and 4 tbsp. of liquid dish soap into a jar. Allow this to sit for one day, then strain the liquid into a spray bottle. Use this spray wherever milkweed beetles are found, either directly on the beetles or on their habitat. If beetles are still present after several days, reapply the spray.

Step 3

Spray a general use insecticide on the milkweed. If natural remedies do not work, purchase an insecticide aimed at borers or beetles, or find a broad spectrum insecticide. Follow the directions printed on the package to spray the beetles and their habitat. Keep in mind that this will also kill any other beneficial insects, such as butterflies or their larvae, which use milkweed as their breeding ground.

Step 4

Spray a general use insect repellant on your home to prevent the beetles from entering. Purchase an insect repellant made for home use. Follow the instructions printed on the package, spraying around doors, windows and any other access point the beetle may have into your home.