sick caterpillars

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  mandymc 3 weeks ago.

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    mandymc
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    I am hoping someone can help identify what has been killing my monarch caterpillars. I have a healthy, spray-free, butterfly-friendly garden with lots of swan plants and every year raise a large number of butterflies. For the last two years I have used the caterpillar castles I got from the MBNZT to protect them from wasps and these work well. But last summer some of the caterpillars in the castles began to get sick when they reached mid size, they would stop eating and sit motionless for days, until they fell off the plant and died. My neighbour has observed the same problem on plants outside of castles and suggests it’s a virus. It does appear to be contagious. Twice I cleaned out my castles with bleach and started afresh but on both occasions after a few weeks the problem returned.

    Does anyone else have this problem or know what it is? I would appreciate any suggestions or advice. Thanks Mandy.

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