Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) begin their annual fall migration in mid-August. These butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the monarchs that migrated to Mexico last fall.
How to help monarchs:
• Provide food (nectar) and keep those areas protected.
• Turn a portion of your lawn into a wildflower meadow - plant milkweed or other native wildflowers.
• Delay mowing areas with milkweed until later in the fall.
• Avoid using herbicides - they kill all life-stages of monarchs (egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult).
Don’t know when their migration peaks in your area? Check out the chart here.
If you have seen a small green pod about an inch long, this is a monarch caterpillar after it enters the pupa stage and is now in a chrysalis. If you see one, try not to disturb it. They will find a safe place, often under a milkweed leaf to enter this stage in their development, which lasts nine to 14 days. Sometimes they will pupate hanging under eaves, decks, other garden plants, or even on window screens.
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