Saturday, June 20, 2009

Create a butterfly garden in your backyard

Create a Butterfly Garden!
A water dish, flowers, lots of sunshine and an area with dark moist soil protected from the wind are
all you need to create a butterfly garden! Remember to:
o Check your lawn at various times throughout the day to see which area receives the most sun.
Butterflies, like all insects, need sunny spots to raise their body temperature.
o Avoid using pesticides around these plants. Butterflies are as affected by pesticides as much
as harmful insects.
o Provide the butterflies with a water source. Any type of shallow container will work.
Give fresh water often.
o Be sure to include plants for all life stages. This means nectar plants for adult butterflies
and host plants for caterpillars.
Good Butterfly Nectar Plants and Caterpillar Host Plants
Ageratum, Milkweed, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Bee-balm, Coneflower, Passion Vine, Mustard, Hibiscus,
Marigold, Salvia, Day Lily, Mallow, Phlox, Zinnia, Dahlia, Asters, Lantana, Impatiens, Butterfly Bush,
Lilac, Snapdragons, Sassafras Tree, Cosmos, Blue Porterweed.
Where have all the butterflies gone?
Due to loss of habitat, butterflies are rapidly disappearing. Wild flowers are often confused as weeds
and are eliminated with herbicides. Butterflies depend on these flowers for food. When the flowers
die, butterflies have no food or place to lay eggs. Butterflies are also very sensitive to air pollution.
Even slight carbon monoxide from car exhaust can affect butterflies.
What Else Can I do to Help Butterflies?
o Learn about the butterflies in your area. Keep a journal of the different species you see
in your garden.
o Try to buy organically grown food at your local market. These butterfly friendly foods are
produced without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
o Use natural insect-controls such as predatory insects. Ladybugs and praying mantises are
nature’s pest control. As carnivores, they feed on many harmful insects and serve as great
protectors of your garden. Order these insects from your local garden center.
o Support organizations that are active in butterfly research and conservation.
o Reduce carbon monoxide by walking, carpooling or even purchasing a hybrid car and
help keep the air clean.
o Visit to learn more about Backyard Habitats.
Butterflies go through a “complete” metamorphosis. This cycle includes egg, larva, pupa and finally
adult stages.
Build A Bat Box
1. BATS EAT BUGS- without predators, insects would soon overwhelm the earth. Bats consume
enormous quantities. One little brown bat can consume 1200 bugs in an hour, often 2 in a single
second. A nursing mother (like your bat box will attract) will eat more than her own body weight
nightly – up to 4500 insects, including pests like mosquitoes!
all of these fruits, which means they help these plants reproduce and grow more fruit.
No bats = No Fruit!

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