"Bug" in this case is not a colloquial term but the correct name for one of many species of insects within the order Hemiptera. Once you know what a bug is, it's a term that can be used as definitively as "bee", as in, "No, it wasn't an ant, it was a bee!"

Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) feed on plants in the genus Asclepias, including common milkweed and butterfly weed. Like the monarch butterfly, it's full of rather noxious substances from having fed on milkweed sap, and its color announces its distastefulness to birds and other predators.

The damage milkweed bugs do is not serious although it can disfigure a plant during years when their numbers are high.

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