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Welcome To Our General FAQs

Welcome to our FAQ page, where we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about raising and releasing monarch butterflies. To help you find the information you need, we’ve organized our FAQs into specific categories related to our online store, products, and other services.

For more detailed information about each topic, be sure to visit our blog, where you’ll find a wealth of resources on butterfly care and conservation. And if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, or have a question we haven’t addressed, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at We’re always happy to help!

What is the webbing in the painted lady kit cups?

The caterpillars produce webbing to stick themselves, or move from one area to another. In the wild they use this webbing to protect themselves from danger and to stick on their host plants. As heavy winds could easily blow them off.

What are the yellow/brown balls in the cups with the painted lady caterpillars?

This is the caterpillars’ waste from digestion and they produce a material known as frass. Please clean the cups every 2 to 3 days as necessary.

How do you clean up after the caterpillars?

Using the brush provided in your kit, Remove the frass (yellow/brown balls) , their black shed skin and webbing in the cups every 2 to 3 days as necessary. Please see the painted lady kit instructions that go over this step in detail.

When should I release my butterflies?

We recommend releasing the butterflies within 2 to 3 days after they have emerged weather permitting.

Why do I need to place a paper towel at the bottom of the net cage?

When the butterflies emerge and have completed pumping meconium into their wings, the excess is pumped out their abdomen. The red liquid will drip on the side and bottom of the cage. Placing a paper towel will ensure the space will not get stained with the liquid.

What are the black balls?

The painted lady caterpillar goes through 5 instars. Each instar it goes through the caterpillar will shed its skin. The black balls that are found in the cups are the shed skin of the caterpillar.

What are the red balls in the caterpillar cup?

When you see red frass balls, the caterpillars have finished eating and now are ready to pupate. The caterpillars will soon attach themselves to the paper lining (without your help) Do not disturb, move the cups during this delicate process for at least 48 hours to ensure the pupa have dried and hardened.

Is there enough food for the caterpillars?

Yes, there is enough air in the cups. There are tiny holes on the lid of the cup.

What do the caterpillars eat?

The monarch caterpillars eat milkweed and the painted lady caterpillars feed on thistle and hollyhock. The food provided in the painted lady kit is an artificial diet

How long does the process take?

The entire process from egg to caterpillars takes about 4 weeks. When you receive your kit the painted lady caterpillars take about 2 weeks to reach the butterfly stage. The pupae take about 5 to 8 days to hatch.

Still have a question, fill in the form below and someone from our team will get back to you.
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