I’m Ready to Adopt a Monarch
This is an opportunity for all ages. Everyone can become a butterfly parent. Kids under 12 will need some adult assistance. It is quite easy to raise the Monarch species of butterfly. Burpee is making it even easier for you. Burpee will provide the larva and your habitat…and you will refresh the leaves (Milkweed) and clean out the habitat.
It is FREE with admission to the Museum.
1. Find Milkweed.
Before you bring you new baby home, take a quick drive about your area to spot some food sources. Chance are you will quickly spy the purple flowers and green stalks growing along roadsides, near farms, bike paths and even highways. Be sure to choose spots free of chemical sprays.
2. Stop by Burpee to pick up your larva
The eggs are hatched and we have lots of babies looking for homes. Come on over and we will give you the larva and a habitat to take home for FREE with your paid admission.
Call for more information: 815-965-3433
3. Feed your Monarch Larva
Your little larva will want fresh milkweed. If you have milkweed nearby, you can pick a fresh leaf or two every day. If you don’t, cut a stalk with many leaves and put it in a vase with water (just like cut flowers) to have fresh leaves for many days. You should wash leaves to be sure they are clean (and free of predators) and that will also provide extra hydration for your larva. If you use the cheesecloth provided, you should not have to worry about mold inside the cage.
4. Clean the cage daily
A dirty, habitat filled with Monarch frass (poop) can cause many problems for your larva. We have the best success cleaning by taking the larva out on his/her leaf, dumping the frass outside by shaking the container, and then placing the larva back inside the cage. You don’t need to use any water or soap to clean the habitat during your larva’s stay in this habitat.
5. Don’t make multiple age/size roommates
The tennis ball can habitats provide a great single occupancy size. By the time the larva is full grown, he or she will need the space. Additionally, the caterpillars will often eat smaller caterpillars as part of their milkweed meals.
6. Share your journey!
We can’t wait to hear about the growth of your baby Monarch. Post to facebook and twitter and use hashtags to share with us! You will be able to learn from other citizen scientists too!