Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone is encouraged to learn how to raise a caterpillar into a butterfly! While most often parents want to give their children the experience, we often receive feedback from parents that they feel they get more out of the experience than their kids.
We recommend adult supervision for children under 12 when taking care of caterpillars.
There is no guarantee that you will have a butterfly lay eggs on your host plant. We can help you determine where is the best location to plant your host plant, and which species of butterfly is likely to visit your garden. Please contact us for assistance.
Be aware that caterpillars are subject to diseases and parasitization. There is no guarantee that you will successfully raise a caterpillar into a butterfly. In nature only 1-2% of all eggs laid become an adult butterfly.
We can help you increase that percentage by sharing with you our years of experience. No matter the outcome it’s an amazing learning experience to see how the process of metamorphosis works.
For Monarch caterpillars:
- You will need to provide daily care until your caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, an estimated 7-10 days.
- Once it becomes a chrysalis it will not require daily feeding. It will need to be monitored daily for 7-14 days until the butterfly ecloses.
For Swallowtails raised April to August:
- You will need to provide daily care until the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, an estimated 7-10 days.
- Once it becomes a chrysalis it will not require daily feeding. It will need to be monitored daily for 7-12 days until the butterfly ecloses.
For Swallowtails raised in late August and September:
- The time is the same for the caterpillar as it is in the spring and summer.
- The chrysalis may hibernate for the season. If no butterfly has eclosed after 14 days of becoming a chrysalis it is safe to consider that it has gone into hibernation for the winter. You will then need to provide shelter for it for 6-9 months.
We recommend buying at least one or more additional host plants at the time you purchase a kit. Do not buy grocery store or big box store plants because of the risk they have been treated with pesticides. Even organic pesticide will kill caterpillars.
We do not offer refunds on kits because there is no way we can guarantee you will find caterpillars associated with the host plant.
We will however replace or exchange any host plants upon request during the year of purchase provided we still have stock available.