ironing crumpled wings

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    Topic
  • #58472

    Jeannette
    Participant

    I read on facebook about a couple of people who ironed the crumpled wing and the butterflies flew away! This morning I have one with a crumpled wing so I wondered if anyone has done the ironing thing and if they could tell me exactly how to do it? How do you hold the butterfly to iron the wing – how do you get the wing under the iron and not touch the body etc. I want to try to give this one a chance, but I’m nervous because I don’t feel I have enough information about how to do it. I am presuming the iron is not very warm. Are the wings open or closed when it is done? I asked this question on Facebook but I dont think anyone replied because now I can’t even find the original post so I thought I’d try this website instead.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #58624

    LeslieD
    Participant

    thats awesome 🙂

    #58622

    FiLeBeau
    Participant

    As it would happen – of over 40 butterflies that eclosed today I found two with crumpled wings on the ground. So…Ive ironed them! And with great success!!
    So I’ve added this strategy to my Tool Kit! Thank you for sharing it with us!
    One boy is flapping his now straight wings and I’ve fed him and will keep in until he has breakfast in the morning. The other boy had buckled as well as crumpled wings but they are now straight. I will need to also patch the breaks on the leading edges of each top wing (that have created the buckles) with a little piece of card. But the wings are in better shape for sure. The folded over base wing is now perfectly straight.
    This approach is far more effective than my prior hairspray method.
    I used a small travel iron set on low and steam. I followed the guidelines and put the iron on the wings from the side for 45 seconds – from both sides – with a rest in between for the wings to cool. I did put a silk hanky over the top to start but then directly on the wings after that – it didn’t seem to make a difference.
    I remember my friends and I ironing our hair on the ironing board in our youth – so no pain was involved in that – nor for the Butterflies! I did pin each butterfly down on a folded sheet with large tweezers to prevent the iron touching its body, and so I could tuck antennae out of the way too.
    Many thanks- Fiona

    #58621

    Mel
    Participant

    Please, do not do this.

    #58593

    FiLeBeau
    Participant

    What brilliant and inspiring success stories! Well done to you all!!
    I’ve tried a different option where I use a low allergy Hair Spray on crumpled wings. I spray away from the Butterfly’s body (not towards it) in single small bursts very close up, unfurl the wings, then gently squeeze them as straight as I can. It’s worked well on several patients and not so well on others. But the mostly straightened wing is a better recipient for a new wing – so it’s Win-Win either way usually.
    Love the work you guys do!!
    Aroha – Fiona

    #58541

    LeslieD
    Participant

    well done you 🙂 let us know if it works.

    #58538

    Jeannette
    Participant

    I just did it! I’m not sure that it will actually fly, but it certainly has a better chance. I found it flopping around on the ground and all four wings were quite bent so it wasn’t even walking properly. I started by doing what one person said – spit on my fingers and try to ease them out – too bent and hardened – so then I tried misting it will water and it didn’t like that at all and fluttered and tried to get away. I put a spoonful of watered down honey in front of it and it drank and drank for about 15 minutes. I then got brave and holding both wings together put it on a towel on its side – eased the wings as straight as they would go and then put a warmed (too hot to hold my finger on but not so hot that I couldn’t touch it – then put the iron on the wings being careful not to touch the body. It struggled with its legs but it was pinned. I let it up and there was an improvement so I did this three times. At that point only one underside wing edges were not responding so, having read that they can actually fly even without those underside wings, I just trimmed it back to where the bend was. It looked a lot better and could walk properly and was doing a lot of wing-stretching movements. I felt I had done everything I could and that it had a chance that it might fly now so I took it back out and put it on some flowers in the garden. I will check in the morning to see if it is still there. It had no chance before – I think it has a chance now. I feel more confident now that I have done it once that I could do it again. I had been out all day and it was on the ground in the sun so its wings had hardened but I probably would have gotten better results if I had found it earlier while the wings were still soft.

    So to be exact about it – I held both wings together and lay the butterfly on its side and placed the iron on both wings at once when they were as straight as they could be pinned under my fingers. The iron was at a temperature where I could get it close to my own fingers without it burning them so it could not burn the wings. I was extremely careful that the body could not touch the
    iron. At first I only held it down for about 15 seconds, but in the end I let it stay under the iron for about 45 seconds and that seemed to have the best result. It was quite badly crumpled on all wings so I feel more confident that it could really help the ones that are not quite so badly formed.

    #58534

    monkey
    Participant

    We had 12 butterflies eclose yesterday, 2 fell down & their wings were damaged slightly but I managed to stretch them out a little as they were still very soft, & then sat them where the wings hung down well with gravity assistance. I had to trim off a tiny bit of the wingtips on their main wings as they were bent, then they were able to fly with no downward flaps causing them to descend too quickly. (think of an aeroplane descending – the pilot lowers the wing flaps to assist with descent).

    #58530

    LeslieD
    Participant

    you can help straighten a wing before it sets by simply spitting on your finger and gently stroking the wing downward. I’ve done it several times.

    #58529

    Jeannette
    Participant

    Thanks Kent. I am very interested to know if misting it would give it a chance to straighten – so long as they stay hanging upside down – I expect timing would be everything in terms of getting to it before the wings have hardened.

    #58528

    kent26
    Participant

    I have raised 106 Monarchs and on my last 10. Today I have one with a wing that looks crumpled and I think I will try to slightly mist it to see if it uncrumples….Will let you know if it helps.

    #58514

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I can’t comment on pain receptors. I do know they react as all living creatures do as a matter of survival if nothing else. As far as euthanasia goes I prefer to put them in a container in the fridge so they go to sleep before i put them in the freezer. depending on their state sometimes thats enough. I like to give them a bit of life if I can too. My last two little cripples i had for 50 + days. Good luck and if you do hear any more about the ironing I’m sure we would all love to know 🙂

    #58495

    Jeannette
    Participant

    I presume you mean that they have no pain receptors in their wings – not that butterflies have no pain receptors. I would need to see some convincing evidence that their bodies so not have pain receptors. I was alarmed to read on the Facebook page that someone believes caterpillars do not have a nervous system! You only have to watch them quietly for a while to see that they are a nervous system! Butterflies respond to heat and cold, threats, visual environments – so they also have a nervous sytems. I personally do not euthanise butterflies that cannot fly. I shelter them for a while so they have time to adapt themselves to their situation, then let them be with the other butterflies in the garden and live out the lives that they have been given. But I pick butterflies up from predicaments if I find them – such as in a bucket of water with wings spread – or tangled in a cobweb – I will help them get on with their lives if I can. I just can’t quite understand the actual process of ironing a wing – I get that it has to be not too hot – but i don’t get how you get the butterfly into the right position and the wing in the right position to apply the iron. I do not want to experiment because I do not want to make things worse! We would also go to sleep and eventually die if someone put us in a freezer. That does not mean that it would be painless experience. Tissue gradually freezing is not going to be painless. Tissue is not made to freeze.

    #58493

    Caryl
    Participant

    It is easy to judge butterflies and the natural world from our own belief system. Butterflies feel no pain, they have no pain receptors. I feel grateful this is so.
    I have never tried to iron a bent wing but knowing they have no receptors it could be worth trying on a low heat. Thanks for your wisdom Leslie. You know so much! Caryl

    #58475

    LeslieD
    Participant

    I’ve never heard of ironing a wing … but keen to hear from anyone who has and the success rate. I find that as long as the leading edge of the top wing is good they have a good chance of learning to fly even if they have a fold lower on that wing. Similarly the bottom wing can be quite crumpled and they can still learn to fly. In fact a butterfly can fly with just the top wings i.e. no bottom wings at all.
    And if the top wing has a bend at the end (obviously not too big) the top wings can be trimmed so they are the same and the bend is removed.
    I would hesitate to iron a wing as I feel the distress level for all involved would be great and it would be so easy to cook the wing as it is living tissue albeit chiton.

    #58474

    rockz
    Participant

    I don’t know of any way you can help them.
    I have raised quite a few and had to euthanasia about 3 for crumpled wings.
    To do this I place them in a plastic bag and put them in the freeze I am told that this kills them painlessly.

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