Help! Monarch Caterpillars

Asked October 15, 2019, 9:31 AM EDT

Good morning, I have about 5 or so monarch caterpillars that are still alive on my milkweed. I would say they are about a week away from turning into chrysalis. With the temperatures dropping, I don't think they will make it and be able to migrate. Is there an indoor local butterfly sanctuary I could bring them to? Thanks Sharon

Howard County Maryland beneficial insects and pollinators

1 Response

Good morning. We checked with a person who has expertise with Monarch rearing. She is doing some research on this question and but unfortunately does not have a specific answer. Last year she had some late bloomer Monarchs and had to wait for a sunny day to release them. They can migrate up to 50°. They will be a bit sluggish but they will move. Brookside Gardens sent their butterflies up to Hershey Park after the exhibit ended last month so they will not take them.

Our temps are going to dip in the next few days and then come back up so their chances are not hopeless. You may want to bring them in, keep them in a warm sunny spot until they emerge from the Chrysalis, and then release them on a good sunny day -- 60° or thereabouts.