Wasps eating my Monarch Caterpillars


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  • #37864


    I just watched the Wasp trap made with a coke bottle. Will this work for Wasps that are drawn to my caterpillars? I was sick to my stomach the first time I saw swarms of wasps lapping up my caterpillars by the dozens. ) ; I have searched everywhere for Wasp nests and can’t find any and it seems that they are drawn from anywhere and everywhere once the caterpillars show up on my Milk Weed. Last season when this happened, somehow 4 made it to the next stage but they were all aborted. I would appreciate any assistance you offer. I am in Florida.
    Thank you!

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  • #38628


    WoW! No flowers and no more wasps! How fantastic! I would do that but have other things that the wasps seem to be attracted to. ) ; And so I woke up this morning to several butterflies that emerged earlier and there are still 5 or so yet to go. The sheer curtain I staked around the milkweed really worked. I am in Florida. ( :



    I was sick to see 5 wasps on my plants with my 6 cats (USA) on my tropical milkweed plants. I noticed they were eating the nectar on the flowers and the cats the leaves. After chasing the wasps with spray for awhile, I prayed and asked for wisdom for this problem. Suddenly I had an answer to my prayer–cut off the flowers! That was the end of the wasps. Thank you Jesus for saving my cats! Have a great day, New Zealand, hope this helps.



    Thank you Dqueenin. I have been away from my computer and am having a hard time replying to your post, saying it is a duplicate. At any rate, I fashioned what you suggested and now have about 10 caterpillars under a sheer curtain which is staked at the ground all the way around. As I see them on other plants, I cut the stalk and tuck them under. I have alot of milk weed clumps and hope that there is enough enveloped for them. When will I know that it is time to ‘unveil’ them? After I saw the first wasp eat my first caterpillar, I went cloth shopping. Thank you again and now I am just unsure if there is enough to eat and will I know when it’s time to open it up. Thank you!



    Thank you, Dquennin! Sorry that I have been away from my computer. And so the first big caterpillar I saw…..I walked away for 10 minutes and came back and it was almost gone with a big wasp slurping it up. I went out and bought a sheer curtain….don’t have sewing machine but was able to manage what you suggested. Each time I have been seeing a caterpillar, I have been putting it under the netting. I have maybe 10 under there now and had to widen it a bit to include a little more milk weed. My weed is scattered 20 feet by about 12 feet in some areas. The caterpillars are happily chomping away and getting large……I am concerned though that they will run out of weed to eat before they are ready…..? Do I just leave them and they will start to cocoon….? When will I know when they are all ready to be ‘unveiled?’ I am so thrilled with your suggestion to keep those wasps away! Thank you and will look forward to a reply. ( :



    I’m in Tauranga, and at last (late March) have caterpillars growing happily on my giant swan plant outside with no wasps attacking them. I also keep caterpillars inside, with swan plant branches in vases on paper towel covered trays, so I have had a few all the time through summer. SO HAPPY TO SEE THEM OUTSIDE AND NOT BEING EATEN !! But I will also keep some inside as insurance.



    Make sure you read this article regarding wasps in NZ this season.



    Does anyone know how long it will be until the wasps quit eating eggs and caterpillars? I thought the season was finished for them, until today. A new Monarch arrived at my place and began laying eggs. I caught and killed six wasps in just ten minutes’ time. Nasty things.

    Has anyone on either island noticed that their caterpillars are now safe from wasps? I’m guessing that the wasps will quit earlier further south.

    I have two plants covered with shade cloth, which works well for protecting the eggs and caterpillars. I see one chrysalis in there now, plus a fifth instar hanging in its J-position. Others are nearly full grown.

    Also, how large a caterpillar is large enough to be safe from wasps?

    Thank you.



    Click on the word “wasps” over on the right hand side of this page >>>>>>
    (down near the bottom of the list) and it will take you to lots of posts about wasps, including a recent one about Wasp Traps.



    where do I find info about this coke bottle trap that is mentioned please…



    I have given up trying to catch the myriad of wasps that attack my caterpillars. The only defence is protection. Go down to the local fabric shop (Harveys here in Auckland) and purchase two offcuts of net curtains – about 1 meter in length. Sew the two pieces together at the top and part way down the sides making an open ended bag. Put it completely over the plant and tie the bottom together around the stem. Use pegs to hold the sides together so that there are no holes anywhere. The caterpillars will live happily under the bag until it is time for them to pupate and many of them seem to prefer to cling to the netting so it becomes covered in chrysalis’s. The wasps still buzz around but cannot reach inside the bag and eventually go away (unless I get to them first with the fly wacker!)



    Thank you, Anna. I believe the wasps are traveling here and not nesting on my small property. I have tried to follow them somewhere, anywhere for a several months now to no avail. I will continue to be on the look out particularly at dusk and perhaps the coke and bottle will work. it’s simple and inexpensive enough to put together. ( :
    I have already seen a few large caterpillars the last couple of weeks but…….) ;



    Sorry to hear about the wasps eating the caterpillars. I haven’t used the wasp trap as yet, but we do find that if you look around at dusk, many times you can find wasp nests as you see them all heading back home for the night.

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