I don't know what the heck these weird red bugs are but they are ALL OVER my false sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) plants. They aren't on the neighboring plants, just the false sunflower.
Just thinking about they is giving me the creeps and making me itchy. They are actually a lovely, vibrant shade of red, but seeing them teeming all over the plants just really creeps me out.
Are they aphids? They don't look like they are doing anything to the plants (yet). I wonder if the Chicago Botanical Gardens have a help desk that I can email these photos to. Actually the Gardens are only a few miles away - I guess I could just take a stalk over and see if someone can identify these guys.
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww - I'm itching too much just thinking about them!!! I can't write anymore!!!!