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Urgent: Need help--will these eat cheesecloth?

15 years ago

I am gathering some live insects for a children's demonstration. It's pretty hot here and I won't be watching over the insects between now and Tuesday when I will need them.

So far I have found two tomato hornworms, two monarch caterpillars, one colorado potato beetle larva, one tiger moth caterpillar.

I have them in plastic containers right now with some soil and host plants, with double cheesecloth and rubber bands on the top. They are in the shade. I wanted to use the cheesecloth for air circulation, but I'm afraid that the larvae will eat through the cheesecloth and escape. I realize that they can eat through. But is it in their natures to try to escape when they have food? Any suggestions on a better way to keep them? I can poke holes in the containers since they are plastic and put the lids on, but I'm afraid of too much condensation and heat, even though they are in the shade. It is August after all.

Any advice?

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