Disinfecting Monarch Eggs

The topic of disinfecting Monarch eggs was brought up recently in one of the blogs I follow. This is the process of dipping the eggs in a bleach and water solution for a short period of time to get rid of the OE parasite which some Monarchs have. To test for this disease you would need a microscope.

I asked Monarch Watch about this and here is their answer below. The short answer is that they don’t do this normally.

As you can see from the video, they are raising what appears to be thousands of monarch caterpillars.  They are probably bleaching the eggs to avoid an OE outbreak.  We only bleach eggs if we know that there is a potential for an OE outbreak from a particular monarch female and we need the eggs.  All of our monarch adults are tested for OE prior to egg-laying, so we never have outbreaks.

You may find that the instructions found here are sufficient for raising a small number of monarchs: https://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/documents/Monarch_Rearing_Instructions.pdf

You may also want to consider participating in citizen science projects such as these:
The Monarch Health Project through the University of Georgia: http://www.monarchparasites.org/

Or, the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project if you are observing wild populations: http://mlmp.org/default.aspx

Below is more information on OE.


Filed under Monarchs, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Disinfecting Monarch Eggs

  1. Mary Hagerth

    I see monarchs laying eggs but no caterpillars. Birds in April ate some so I put up fence and wire but haven’t seen any caterpillars since April ? >

    • In St. Louis they are in-town and laying eggs right now. There are also some very large caterpillars around. Predators always take a lot and there’s not much you can do about it unless you want to raise some caterpillars on your own.

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