HELP! My Caterpillars are Bleeding to Death!

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  • #13495

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi, newbie here. Been raising monarchs for several years now with 100% success rate. But lately we were confronted with this strange problem. We bought a big swan plant from the Warehouse last week we transferred our starving cats in it. A few days later, we noticed that our fat cats have been behaving strangely. They are all hanging half bent backwards and we found out that they are bleeding to death!

    Could it be possible that the plant we bought was sprayed? (It’s leaves are too shiny) But, it has a few cats in it when we bought it though. Seems like my cats has exploded.

    It is very distressing to watch them dripping all over the plants. I kept vigil last night just to see who the culprit is but to no avail.

    Any suggestions how I can stop this happening?

    Thanks.

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #19863

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the offer Jacqui. I surely love cruising around Russell. Don’t worry when Easter time is finished I could go around again. It’s just that the choir is very busy at this time of the year so I have to stay put and keep away from that flu virus otherwise I’ll be in big trouble. I’m one of the cantors. So I have to keep the old voice in tiptop condition.

    Anyways, let’s talk business! I visited The Warehouse and I ended up having an argument with the Customer Services person. What I’m saying doesn’t really get through and I got blamed for taking the plant inside the house which is supposed to be “raised” outside according to her. And she doesn’t want to accept the fact that the swan plant was brought from their store! As I don’t have the docket I can’t support my complaint. I went around their garden centre, they still have plenty of those lovely plants all clean and tidy but it has one chrysalis hanging in one of the plants but the rest with spray residue on the pots doesn’t have any cats at all.

    The next stop was Palmers Garden, the supervisor was very supportive and gave me 2 replacements for my plant and returned my money back. We also inspected the swan plants for sale and wondered why there’s no cats in it while in fact it is outside! She instructed the guy in charge of ordering plants to let the supplier know about the sprayed plant.

    So my day wasn’t ruined after all. But not sure though if my little cat will survive as it already showed signs of poisoning. The other one was already comatose/paralyzed so I just left it in the plant that I returned.

    That’s all folks.

    cheers

    #19857

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Tigershark – you’re welcome to plants from my garden if you like. If you happen to be going to Russell – or want a pleasant day in the countryside.

    Let me know and I’ll make arrangements. Email me anytime, jacqui@monarch.org.nz

    Jacqui

    #19856

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi guys,

    Just a quick update. The swan plant I bought at Palmers last week was also sprayed. My new little cat has died as well. This time I have to go around Warehouse and Palmers to show them the effect of the spray.

    I didn’t have time to go back last week as I have to take a friend to the doctor.

    cheers

    tigershark

    #19821

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi again, Tigershark
    Can you email me, and I’ll explain about Jacqui’s plants.
    Sounds like sooner rather than later would be good for you.
    I can arrange this while Jacqui is away.
    Cheers
    Trisha

    #19820

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hahahah yup, I realized that now. I wished I read the article at the Advocate last week about her. I only had a little peek it’s my husband who told me about Jacqui.

    Yes, I have been corresponding with Vicky the great. She’s got lots of advice under her sleeves.

    Thanks for your offer Trish. I think I might really need it although my cats are all on their way to eternity, seems like I’ve got new little cats from the plant I bought yesterday at Palmers but not sure though if this one is not sprayed as the staff there doesn’t seem to know as it has just arrived yesterday morning.

    cheers

    tigershark

    #19817

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Tigershark
    Couple of (or more)things:
    Jacqui is pretty much on the road until after Easter, but checks in. Catching her by phone could be a challenge.
    Please, please do take your horrible plants back to to the Warehouse even if you don’t have the docket. They might not give you a refund, but you will alert them to the problem (again). Take along a couple of dead or sick caterpillars to emphasise the point. It’s kind of our duty to complain if we care.
    Vicky has had some experience with this, so take up her offer to email her if you need help.
    Also, you can email me trisha@monarch.org.nz. I can arrange to have some small, organic plants sent to you from Jacqui’s garden.
    Best
    Trisha

    #19816

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Guys,

    Just an update. Upon inspection of my cats they are actually “vomiting” what they have eaten. Went around the garden centres yesterday apart from The Warehouse and bought 4 new pots of swan plants, but sadly the cats are not feeding anymore.

    Jacqui, (got the spelling right this time) I called the motel yesterday but the guy said you left early in the morning. I got out of bed very late as I wasn’t feeling very well then.

    #19803

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for your advice guys but I’m afraid, Ive already thrown away the docket trusting that my cats will have a good chow as before!

    Hey Jackie, I live along SH14 Maunu, on the way to Dargaville, I have the flu at the moment, until when will you be in Whangarei? Might give you a buzz tomorrow if you’re still around.

    It’s hard to talk on the phone when you have a very blocked nose heheheh!

    tigershark

    #19802

    VickySteele
    Participant

    Hi Tigershark

    DEFINITELY spray, and I am very unimpressed that this has happened. After Kim’s incident, The Warehouse issued a statement saying that they don’t spray their plants (and I believe they don’t) and that their suppliers don’t spray their plants. Well, from personal experience, I know for a fact that one of their suppliers DO spray their plants and they even admitted it to another distributor. The Warehouse uses several suppliers.

    You have every right to demand your money back, and alert them to the fact that their plants are sprayed. Caterpillars affected by pesticide may make a recovery, but the long term prognosis is not good for them.

    Sometimes spray can be accidental – drift etc., – but it still isn’t good enough. It is awfully distressing to have this happen.

    Caterpillars basically “vomit” when affected by something foreign. It is like a warning and does look like they’re bleeding. They will do this when threatened and this can be from pesticide.

    I’m very sorry this has happened to you, especially after the Trust has already challenged The Warehouse about this.

    I hope this doesn’t put you off – there are plenty of other good milkweed suppliers out there. As Swansong pointed out, the plants need to be washed and left for a period of time before you can attempt to use them again. The supplier (and I’m sure I know who it is) admit to using a one day spray, but in my experience it lasts for far more than one day. You need at least 2 weeks!

    Incidentally, shiny leaves can be a sign of spray residue.

    Please, please take your plants back and complain. And if you have a body or two, that will add to your case.

    If you need any other advice, or help, please email me on vicky@monarch.org.nz.

    Vicky

    #19796

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Tigershark
    Problem with these sprayed plants is that sometimes the retailer will have one perfectly good batch of plants then a potentially sprayed one from another supplier.
    If you take your manky plant back(and perhaps a couple of dead cats) they might follow up with the supplier.
    Good luck – it’s distressing to have a situation like that.
    Best
    Trisha

    #19794

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hello Tigershark

    I have been hoping that Vicky might come by as she really is the best one to advise you – although I hope as a group we can build a stronger relationship with the growers of milkweed (e.g. swan plants) and encourage them to go natural (organic – but none of these “extra special organic certified things”. It would be great for all of us.

    I am travelling at present and it’s expensive connecting up, so I may lay low until I get some more time AND get a free internet connection.

    Tigershark, currently staying at Kamo, if you wanted top hone me and have a yak. Cypress Court.

    Jacqui

    #19793

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi swansong,

    Thanks for your reply. I also read in one of the threads which Kim started, about sprayed plants. Yes, I thought my swan plant must have been really sprayed. It’s too late now though for my cats they’re all dying, all 20 of them. My son and I actually took it all off the plant the other night so I can check the plant for any pests apart from aphids then put them all back so they can feed.

    We bought a few plants from the Warehouse last month for our first batch of cats without any incident at all. The poor husband is the runner late at night 9pm, going around garden centres looking for swan plants for the starving cats. All 16 of them turned into beautiful butterflies!.

    I’m glad I found this site. It is indeed very helpful and there’s lots of things to learn about Monarchs. And gee, I was surprised there’s so many butterfly enthusiast around here.

    Last week, Jackie I think was featured in the ADVOCATE! I just didn’t think then that I will be sending an SOS to this forum.

    Sorry to hear about your misadventure and I’m glad you’re alright now.

    cheers

    tigershark

    P.S.

    Maybe Chris can merge this with Kim’s thread. We have the same topic anyways.

    #19789

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi tigershark and welcome.

    Theres probably not a lot you can do if they have ingested sprayed material. It sounds like it has been sprayed but you mention there was other pillars on it when you bought it. How many? What size? Are they among the ones dying and/or are they encountering any probs?

    If the plant has been sprayed, you’ll need to get everything off it and aquire another plant. You;ll have to have at the very least a standdown period, AFTER the plant has been thoroughly washed of all resisdue.

    We need to verify definitely that it has been sprayed though, and this has been a problem with places like this.

    Plaese let us know.

    Swansong

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