Do you want to be a "Caterpillar Mama" and watch the magic of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly?
Here's what you'll need to get started:
- A container - it can be a critter keeper or aquarium.
- Paper towels - one for the bottom for easy cleaning and one under the top to prevent spiders from crawling inside or babies crawling out.
- Fresh caterpillar food - each species requires a particular plant.
For example: Black swallowtails eat parsley, dill or fennel but Monarchs only eat milkweed.
- CATERPILLARS! Visit the BugLady's garden and adopt some!
- Place your critter keeper away from direct sun or a/c vent.
- Once a day, check on your "children". Clean out the poop, place clean paper towel and their specific fresh plant food.
- Enhance your observation skills by watching your babies every day to see what they will do next. Their schedule is: eat, poop, grow, molt then repeat, repeat, repeat.
- When you think your caterpillars are ready to pupate, place a few sticks in the container for them to attach their chrysalis.
- Caterpillars raised indoors do not have benefit of rain or dew. Lightly mist the chrysalis with water so they won't dry out.
- When your butterfly hatches, offer it cut fruit slices, fresh flowers, or juice on a cotton ball. Release as soon as the wings are strong.
- Make a wish and release your butterfly into your garden near flowers!
- Be proud that you are now a butterfly farmer and have helped to enrich the ecosystem of your neighborhood!
Call 504-739-5715 or visit the BugLady at 6444 Jefferson Highway in Harahan- Monday through Friday 9:30-5pm.