Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Proper Environment for Butterflies on a Deck or Enclosure

"Can I some how adopt butterflies and you would be able to give me the proper living environment as well as ingredients that will fill them properly? Deck(from the sides)."

First, remember that their average life as an adult is only two weeks. Don't expect them to live for a long time.

Adult butterflies need several things:

  • Light; if the light is too bright on one side of the screened deck, they will fly to that side and sit, not feeding or flying. Light should be equal from more than one side or that side should have shade added. Without adequate light, they will just sit and roost - doing nothing. If they sit all day, they need more light.

  • Warmth; butterflies are cold blooded and need temperatures in the upper sixties to the eighties to fly. Too hot and they'll simply sit. Too cold and they'll simply sit. Too extremely hot or cold and they may die.

  • Food; flower nectar is excellent. If enough flowers cannot be maintained on the deck, add fruit and/or sugar water or Gatorade. If the butterflies do not eat themselves, it may be necessary to start them eating by handfeeding them.

  • Humidity; dry air kills butterflies. A humidifier, fogger, or little fountain adds moisture to the air.

  • NO pesticides; butterflies are insects and pesticides kill them.

  • Predators; ants, roaches, spiders, and other predators ride in flower pots and on plants and will be delighted with the meal you provide. Monitor carefully for predators.

  • Enjoy!

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