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Keeping monarch caterpillars alive

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I live in FL and i've noticed that monarch butterflies lay eggs almost constantly here. I have a bunch of milkweed growing all around my garden, but i've noticed that unless i put the caterpillars on a plant inside, they always disappear before they get a chance to grow up. What's eating them and is there any way I can protect them? Is creating a netted area, or netting individual plants once they have caterpillars feasible? I really like the little guys and i'd like to see more monarchs around.
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>>2449539
netting is probably your best bet
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>>2449539
Post pics of your garden and plants OP and any caterpillars por favor.
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>>2449647
This. Did this at my old job(which had nothing to do with bugs or gardening).
We built a big cage with just some wood and mesh, placed it over some milkweed and started putting them in it. We would try to cover it when it got too windy or would rain. We had a decent success rate but still lost some cocoons. Then we uprooted and replanted milkweed in some pots and started bringing them indoors when it was night, rained, windy, chilly, etc and our success rate of survival to adulthood was almost 100%.
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>>2449539
I happen to know that cane toads are resistant to toxic caterpillars. I watched one eat oleander moth larva every sunrise for over a month. Being that you live in Florida like me, that's a distinct possibility.
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>>2449966
Sounds like a good plan. I'm probably going to try to make a similar setup eventually, but for now I just netted one plant.
I'd really rather not have to deal with maintaining an enclosure inside if I don't have to, though. Did you specifically run into problems with chrysalises rather than caterpillars? They'd be pretty easy to relocate indoors if that's the case. Also, do you think that rain specifically caused any problems with them? It rains like a bitch here all the time, but I can't really see it causing a huge problem with caterpillars or chrysalises.
>>2449978
I'm thinking Anoles are resistant or immune too. Along with a decreasing caterpillar population, I noticed some lizard poop on one of my milkweeds today. I haven't seen many toads here, though.
>>2449964
I only have a few pics at the moment, I'll take more tomorrow. I attached some leftover porch screen to the wire frame with zip ties as securely as I could and I sewed the edges of the screen together just to be safe. I also tried to make sure I didn't lock any other critters in with them, though I'm still not sure what eats them and what doesn't.
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>>2450839
Thread posts: 7
Thread images: 3


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