Should I bring my caterpillars inside.

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #47433

    Caroline77
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui

    It seems that the wasps are eating nector and not eggs anymore, are these wasps or birds posing any danger to the caterpillars now. I have noticed a lot of caterpillars ( big and small ) outside on my swan plants. Should I bring them inside and put them in my caterpillar castle on a swan plant or will they be okay outside now. Will they survive outside? So far, since February ,I have released 91 butterflies and there are about a dozen chrysalis’s in the castle. I brought these huge caterpillars inside last week, not being sure what to do. Anyway do let me know what I should do.

    Caroline

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  • #47493

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    At the end of the summer the juvenile paper wasps are mature enough to not require feeding, so all of them – adults and juveniles – begin looking for nectar and don’t look for protein (e.g. caterpillars). This is the best opportunity for the monarchs to breed another generation so long as the weather doesn’t turn cold/wet/windy suddenly. Cold and some wet they can tolerate (but won’t breed) – too much wind/wet and snow/frosts etc can kill them.

    The thing is that we humans rely on a calendar to tell us when it’s “autumn” or “winter” but in Nature this isn’t the case. I remember summer weather in May when I was down Marlborough! So who knows, we may still get several more generations, especially if you have a sheltered, warm spot.

    #47492

    Bron and Camryn
    Participant

    I have the same problem with wasps taking my caterpillars too Caroline. Since I noticed this I started raising all my cats inside. That way I don’t have to “worry” what nasties are getting them outside. And I really enjoy watching each individual grow up. Bonus is that a couple got sick recently and I was able to do something about it. Before I started doing this none of my caterpillars were surviving outside.

    #47464

    Caroline77
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui

    Will the wasps not eat them at all now?

    I have plenty of wasps and have located the nests in my neighbors yard. Have arranged to spray it sometime this weekend.
    Caroline

    #47463

    Caroline77
    Participant

    Thank you Caryl

    Still warm here. However, I will keep an eye on the weather and bring them in necessary.
    Caroline

    #47460

    Caryl
    Participant

    Hi Caroline, I would recommend you bring them in unless your weather is still warm. I am in Wellington and the demise of caterpillars and chrysalides is very apparent now – most of my chrysalides in various parts of the garden appeared to be healthy at first and now they are deformed (not the right colour and many marks). This happens at the end of the season unfortunately. Caryl

    #47444

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Most of them should be okay outside now Caroline if the wasps have finished dining on them. Sure, you’ll lose a few to other predators but there will be plenty more to make beautiful monarch butterflies.

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