Author Archives: edith

What is that egg?

Butterfly eggs can look quite similar to extremely different, depending on the species. Some, like the Monarch and Queen, are identical. Some, like the Question Mark and Red Admiral differ by the number of ridges down the sides. Some are … Continue reading

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Male or female?

Can you tell the difference between a male and female Monarch Butterfly? With adult butterflies, it’s the dots on the hindwings that gives a good positive answer. What about chrysalises? Yes, you CAN tell the difference with good eyes or … Continue reading

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Mistletoe and butterflies …

Did you know that there is a butterfly caterpillar that eats mistletoe leaves? It’s their only diet. Mistletoe is their host plant. The caterpillars look like the leaves of mistletoe. Do you see the caterpillar in the photo to the … Continue reading

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Eggs near aphids and caterpillars?

Why are eggs laid near aphids, other plant pests, and caterpillars? Simple. Butterflies and moths are attracted to their host plants by scent. When an aphid or other plant pest (including caterpillars) eat or drink from the plant, they damage … Continue reading

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Don’t give up!

Things go wonderfully well in our indoor rearing area and then disaster happens. Caterpillars die. Chrysalises pupate deformed. Adults don’t emerge or emerge crippled. It’s easy to want to give up. Hang in there! Remember, nature is against you. It … Continue reading

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Caterpillars and pet tick medication

Can pets with tick medication and caterpillars co-exist in the same home? Yes, they can. These medications are actually pesticides/insecticides. They are safe for mammals but not for insects. The different active ingredients in different brands work by various methods. … Continue reading

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Why do so many butterflies die?

In nature, butterflies have so many enemies, from egg through adult. Why? Math is the answer. Simple math. Check it out here.

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Have you frozen your milkweed leaves yet this year?

It’s the time of year when common milkweed has nice big leaves. That means it is time to cut, disinfect, and freeze milkweed leaves for emergency times. Check it out by clicking on this sentence. Those of us in the … Continue reading

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Are organic plants safe for caterpillars?

It depends. One of the most popular pesticides around is one used for the express purpose of killing caterpillars. It is 100% organic and can be used on plants that are certified organic. Read more by clicking on this sentence. … Continue reading

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Why do I need to know about dogbane?

Dogbane is a plant that so strongly resembles milkweed that many people, including those experienced in the field, can be fooled it it. Monarch caterpillars will not eat it. Dogbane is related to milkweed and the Milkweed Tussock Moth (actually … Continue reading

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