Offer protection from predators -
Safest: Use a parasite proof container indoors.
Only 2 in every 100 eggs laid in the wild become an adult butterfly. Why? Predators including spiders, birds, and mice eat caterpillars as their own food source. Wasps and flies also kill a large number of caterpillars. Know that your chances of raising caterpillars indoors are tremendously better than outdoors, but occasionally some may not make it to adulthood.
Provide plenty of fresh, clean food (specific host plant) -
Easiest: Use a potted plant. You may have to water it. Check all leaves for spiders or other insects. Only use a plant that has never been sprayed with insecticide or has soil containing BT.
Our plants are usually grown from seed, or come from organic farms that guarantee the safety for caterpillars.
Alternate: Cut fresh host plants for your caterpillars, replace it often.
We like to use a mason jar, weighted down with glass marbles. Replace the lid with a cross-stitch cut into a round that fits into the lid's outer ring. Cut a slit for the plant's stem to slide through.
Keep your caterpillars out of direct sunlight, protect from temperature extremes -
Although tempting....Don't handle your caterpillars. They easily pick up germs and can become sick!
Note: If using fresh cut food in mason jars, place the jar of NEW food next to the jar of OLD food. The caterpillars will walk over to the new food on their own!
PLEASE RELEASE YOUR BUTTERFLIES THE DAY AFTER THEY EMERGE! You will need to have warm, dry weather (above 65 degrees). Provide a flowering nectar plant if you are forced to wait due to rain or cold.
Check our "Shop" Page for popup containers - host plants and free caterpillars seasonal.
Watch our Facebook Page for availability!