Category Archives: Monarchs

2018 Monarch Migration

This was another great year for Monarchs in St. Louis Missouri. Here is what my front yard looks like right now.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Monarchs

Monarch Tagging Party

monarch-dsc04726Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Monarch butterflies.

Tom Terrific is hosting a tagging party where you will learn how to tag a Monarch and send it off on it’s trip to Mexico.

This party is mainly for kids, but adults are welcome also.

Date – Saturday – Sept. 29th

Time – 2 to 4 p.m.

Place: 9016 Robyn Rd. 63126
You can park at the school.
Come around to the back yard.

Below is some more information on tagging the Monarchs.

http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm

Leave a comment

Filed under Monarchs

2% Make It

I have received a couple of emails recently wondering why their caterpillars were not doing well or dying.

One of the experts,Dr. Karen Oberhauser, in a recent Monarch program says that only 2% of Monarchs make it from the egg to butterfly stage. She mainly talks about insects and parasitoids, but there are also diseases and even the milkweed liquid can kill the small caterpillars.

If you do want to increase the odds of the Monarchs, you can raise them yourself. It’s a fun process and fairly easy to do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Monarchs

Monarchs and Climate Change

This recent video is by Dr. Karen Oberhauser, one of the leaders in Monarch butterfly research. It’s a bit technical at times, but she does explain topics so that most people can understand. Please FF to the 8 minute mark.

Leave a comment

Filed under Monarchs

Aphids and Monarchs – Don’t Panic!

monarch-aphids-600

St. Louis has been blessed over the last few weeks with lots of Monarchs flying around our gardens. There are plenty of eggs and caterpillars to keep the next generation going and with milkweed also comes aphids.

If you look at the recent picture, you will see not only a beautiful Monarch butterfly, but also lots of aphids. This happens every year, but this year the aphid population has waited to explode. Normally, they come out in June and are gone by July. This year they waited until July and August.

The normal response of most gardeners is to rush to their local big box store and get the most deadly pesticide they can find. They then spray their milkweed over and over until every aphid is dead.

If you love butterflies, this is exactly the WRONG thing to do. Any pesticide that will kill aphids will also kill Monarchs in the egg and caterpillar stage. I’ve recently heard of people spraying their milkweed with Insecticidal Soap. While this will certainly kill the aphids, it will also kill any Monarch caterpillars who are trying to make it into the butterfly stage.

You could try and use a high power water hose to wash them off, but that is only a very short term answer and they will quickly find their way back to your plants.

The response I have is to do nothing at all. Aphids, while not aesthetically pleasing are not hurting the plants or the caterpillars. Aphids are also food for goldfinch and hummingbirds.

When you do find yourself getting upset over aphids in the garden, take a deep breath and try to relax – this is all part of Mother Nature’s plan.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Insecticides, Monarchs

Monarchs and Hummingbirds

Monarchs-LE-DSC05104-600In St. Louis, we finally have confirmation of the first monarch butterflies and hummingbirds. Margy Terpstra has a great blog which shows these recent sightings.

If you have some milkweed which you have started inside, now would be the time to put some out. I would probably leave it in the pot for a week or two since we still may have some freezing weather. For laying eggs, Monarchs don’t care whether it’s in the pot or in the ground. Group it together to make it easier for them to find.

Also start putting out your hummingbird feeder since they are also back in St. Louis. Margy has a great picture of them nectaring on Bluebells. It’s a great early season native flower.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Hummingbirds, Monarchs

Monarch Tagging Party

monarch-dsc04726Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Monarch butterflies.

Tom Terrific is hosting a tagging party where you will learn how to tag a Monarch and send it off on it’s trip to Mexico.

This party is mainly for kids, but adults are welcome also.

Date – Sunday – October 1st

Time – 1 – 4 p.m.

Place: 9016 Robyn Rd. 63126
You can park at the school.
Come around to the back yard.

Below is some more information on tagging the Monarchs.

http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm

Leave a comment

Filed under Monarchs, Uncategorized