Jun 23

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Help! My monarch caterpillar is sick!

Contributed by Penny Holtzmann


My monarch caterpillar is sick

Penny’s sick caterpillar

The other day green liquid appeared in the container of a monarch caterpillar which I am raising. An online search revealed that this is caused by the caterpillar ingesting insecticide. I had been feeding it a leaf from a milkweed growing at the entrance to our subdivision and remembered that the spray truck had come through our subdivision a couple evenings earlier. It would have passed just inches from this milkweed plant.

At that point, attempting to save it, I removed the contaminated leaf and replaced it with a well-washed leaf from my back yard and the caterpillar seems to be OK. It’s now a chrysalis.

Any caterpillar living outdoors on a plant that was sprayed with insecticide would likely be dead now.  I will be extra careful to wash and dry the caterpillar food from now on, especially if it’s not from my own back yard.


Editor’s note: It may be possible to put your home on a no-spray list for your municipality, worth further investigation. 

Remember to eliminate all standing water and debris that could hold water from around your property to reduce the mosquito population.

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Permanent link to this article: http://stlouisaudubon.org/blog/monarch-caterpillar-insecticide/

1 comment

  1. Shirley CIrio

    What a powerful message! Thank you for sharing. Definitely something to be concerned about.

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