Eastern Courier - - News -

Although this sum­mer has not given us all that we ex­pect, it has not stopped the monarch but­ter­flies from dis­play­ing their glo­ri­ous colours and en­tranc­ing us with their aerial bal­lets for many weeks.

The but­ter­flies are still lay­ing their eggs on the swan plants even as au­tumn days shorten.

The cater­pil­lars re­sult­ing from these and also the Fe­bru­ary weeks just past, be­come the adults that will fly north to hi­ber­nate for the win­ter. But will they? The men­ace of the Asian pa­per wasp is still present in spite of tem­per­a­tures drop­ping at night.

In my gar­den al­most ev­ery leaf on the swan plants shows where a cater­pil­lar has hatched, eaten its first meal and then dis­ap­peared.

The wasps pa­trol the plants daily and snatch up the cen­time­tre long young hope­fuls to leave hun­dreds, maybe thou­sands of small holes where they have been.

My ad­vice, given two years ago, ask­ing that the wasp nests sus­pended from a sunny wall or fence be searched out and de­stroyed with a squirt of fly­spray at dusk, fol­lowed by de­tach­ing the nest next day and ei­ther burn­ing or freez­ing it for 24 hours seem to have not been taken.

Please do some­thing or the monarch but­ter­flies will dis­ap­pear al­to­gether.

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