Moderator: Monarch Watch
sbannister wrote:Well, here's a reply. I am in S. Louisiana and we have overwintering cats most years but we are having some sub freezing temps this year. The few winters before this one have been mild and I participated in a study re OE in overwintering Monarchs - all of those adults I caught tested positive for OE. Anyway I have brought in some potted milkweed to save and there are a few cats on it. I am going to return the pots outside tomorrow because the temps will be warm enough for the plants. I don't know how to keep the cats inside over the winter. I have tried and had one eclose and while waiting for a warmer day to release it, it damaged its wings. It just hasn't worked for me so I am kind of resigned to let them fend for themselves.
I wanted to respond although I can;t really answer your question. I just want to add that I miss many of the regulars from the old forums and even though this is the "off season" it's strange to not hear from anyone!!! Where is everyone?
DonnaZ2011 wrote:I live about 25 miles north of Houston. I also have over wintering Monarchs. I have been bringing the caterpillars into my house to raise. I have had 9 eclose this past week when the temps have been very cold. I have a large homemade cage that I have been keeping them in. I make a nectar solution of 20% honey and 80% water. I place a clean pot scrubber in a shallow dish with the nectar. This is what I feed the butterflies until the weather warms enough to release them. I have had fairly good success with this method. Two of the 9 died before it was warm enough to release them yesterday. I have 10 more chrysalides and five cats still in the house, but all of my milkweed froze last Tuesday, so I'm not sure what I will do about the cats. I'm not sure if this helps you as I am fairly new to raising Monarchs and have only been doing it for about 2 years. I am currently participating in the OE study of over wintering Monarchs.