Killing Insects

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  • #53385


    Many people talk about “putting butterflies ‘out of their misery’ or say “I couldn’t kill it”. The other option is: to leave it to Nature.

    Death is a part of life, a part of Nature. It’s absolutely natural to die. A farmer friend once told me “when you have livestock, you’ll get dead stock”. Isn’t that true?

    Take the monarch butterfly as an example: A female monarch will lay 300 or 500 or even possibly a thousand eggs. If every one of those became an adult then the monarch would be described as a pest. We only need one or two for the species to be continued, three or four to boost the population.

    Some of them are destined to become food for predators, and parasites, and diseases… Some may even feed the soil!

    As responsible, caring kaitiaki we can do more for the monarch butterfly by removing diseased specimens and disposing of them with compassion. Some of the merits and possible methods are explained here in “Killing Insects for Conservation”, and “Do Insects Feel Pain?”, a blog by the BBC.

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  • #53395


    Hi Matt

    And thanks for sharing that! I hope that other people are also celebrating the successes rather than contemplating the occasional failure. It’s only when we have major disasters that we need to look at what we’re doing and see if we can correct things to boost our success rate.

    Good onya!



    When I first started breeding monarchs again since I was a kid I had the first lot in Easter 2017, they started of well but the weather got colder and they took a long time to grow, it got so cold every single one of them died. The next lot I had at the start of the next season was eating a lot faster from the previous ones I had and they got bigger but something that I don’t know about happened to them and about 14 5th instar caterpillars stopped eating and died, I think it was black death. Out of that lot I did have 2 or 3 make it to butterfly and I was finally so glad to see some success. The next lot I had there were a lot of them and they grew fast, the first one out of them made a chrysalis but then I noticed a centipede on the side of it and the chrysalis was bleeding green fluid out of the side of it, that one lost too much blood and ended up shriveling up and fell to the ground and died. From then I had about 70 in a row make it to butterfly before I saw another one not make it, I was so pleased that I finally saw success. So after going through all this when I see a caterpillar that doesn’t make it I just think oh well that isn’t mean’t to be and focus on the ones that are doing well. Just wanted to share my story.

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