My Monarch eggs are getting eaten up.

by Rona Young
(Gainesville, Florida)

I have a problem with something eating all my monarch eggs. We have tons of eggs and have successfully raised several generations inside but we have yet to see any caterpillars outside. Can I spray my milkweeds with insecticide (after I remove all eggs first of course) just to kill off all the preditors or will that cause the monarchs to stay away? I don't like spraying but we have alot of pests on out milkweed.

Karen says:
This is very normal. The majority of monarch eggs laid do not complete the cycle to butterfly...either the eggs or caterpillars are eaten by predators. Do not spray your milkweed. It could harm the monarch butterflies and it will not prevent the many predators from eating the monarch eggs or caterpillars. The best way to save the monarch eggs is to bring them inside as you have done and raise them :)

Comments for My Monarch eggs are getting eaten up.

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all monarch eggs are getting eaten up
by: Chrissy

I have Queens and Monarch laying eggs on a special patch of many milkweek plants I created/ No eggs are making it..The next day I come out and all the eggs are gone..What is going on?

I am not seeing anything but a few ants (not many) and baby lizards (not that many either) These butterflies put an egg on every leaf! and the next day all 100 eggs are gone.

I live in South Florida.. if that helps
and here is another glitch..Being an experienced Monarch raiser I have never had a problem where when I do bring the eggs in and they hatch as soon as they are big enough (tiny still) to start eating...they turn on their side and slowly die..
What on earth is going on?

BTW. I am one of the first areas to start getting the Monarchs back from Mexico and many even stay..


Karen says:
The eggs I am sure are being eaten by the ants, lizards, etc. The number of eggs that actually make it through the life cycle is VERY low. You can bring some inside to raise them as soon as you see them (which it already sounds like you are doing).

The tiny caterpillars that die...I am wondering if it has something to do with leaves drying out, lack of humidity or too humid. I have only had that happen a few times. Are the caterpillars on live plants or leaves in a dish?

Predators Eating Monarch Eggs/Baby Cat.
by: Jacki Rich

I live in Northern Ohio and have this very same problem. During the Monarch season here, I go out several times a day and search for the eggs and baby cats on my plants. I take them to our patio to raise. My Milkweed plants are full of ants, spiders, Daddy Long Legs, etc. that devour the baby cats. almost as soon as they hatch. So far this year I have raised and hatch 52 cats./butterflies. I have 2 cats. left and 10 Chrysalis' left. I also find roadside plants and rescue those eggs, cats., and chrysalis' if I find them. Makes me wonder JUST how many Butterflies would actually hatch on their own, if we didn't rescue them.

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