Monarch Help

wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)June 27, 2011

Okay - so today while I was outside collecting EBST babies to raise in my butterfly cage, I witnessed another female Monarch ovipositing on my tropical milkweed. Do I dare try to raise them again?

What advice would you give.... because my success with Monarchs has not been as good as I would like - especially with the recent death of the 8 babies I had.

And as a side note, I found another batch of lacewing eggs just as large as the first batch on a different tropical milkweed. So if nothing else at least I'm hopefully keeping the aphids in check.

~Laura

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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

Laura,

If you are hesitant to bring the eggs inside to raise, what about protecting the eggs on the plant to keep the wasps and other predators away? I bought some "bridal veil" fabric to drape over the milkweeds using a tomato cage as support. That way, the cats/eggs are protected and the plant can still get the sunlight it needs.

I have also seen some people use the pop up clothes hampers as protection, just invert the hamper over the plant and the cats can use that as a place to pupate as well.

Glad you are getting lots of butterfly traffic. It has been a really slow year in my neck of the woods, we are experiencing a severe drought and hopefully, that is why the butterflies are not here.

Hope this helps.

Mechelle

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 5:46PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Laura,

Mechelle has given you some good advice. I use the paint strainers at Lowe's for covers over the small tomato cages. I trim the prongs and bend them in, and then cover the whole thing with the 5 gallon strainer. You can get 2 for about $3. Someone on the BFGF shared about the strainers, and I found out they were a perfect fit for the small tomato cages, turned upside down.

Washing the milkweed and drying it is a good idea. You can store clean MW in your fridge for sometime. There are also some areas where you can still find native MW that hasn't been sprayed. I used this to raise my last brood of caterpillars.

I have lost whole batches of caterpillars before. It's hard to id a cause. There are some great Monarch sites to help with problems. Check the FAQs for Tdogmom's web sites. I noticed she is posting again. She's a wealth of information.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:09PM
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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Thanks Sandy - I will try the paint strainers and see if how that works.

~Laura

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:33AM
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