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Monarch Caterpillars all dying… third year in a row

Alex Tyshka
6 months ago

We’ve been raising monarchs for over a decade, but recently moved into a new house in the city. Ever since, we haven’t raised a single monarch to adulthood. 90% of them stop eating, deflate and die as caterpillars, and the few that do make it to a chrysalis form a misshapen chrysalis and die. This has happened three years in a row now. I’ve tried using regular milkweed from my front yard and swamp milkweed from my backyard. We’re careful to not use pesticides, but our county does a stupid aerial mosquito spray once or twice a year. The symptoms seem to align most with a virus like NPV, but I don’t understand how a virus would persist on two separate plant stocks for 3 years in a row. Any ideas on how to save these little guys?

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