caterpillar support

About Our Caterpillar Support Program

Each year we are frequently contacted by a frantic butterfly gardener concerning not having enough host plant for their voraciously eating caterpillars. Finding safe, pesticide-free host plants can be a challenge. Our free Caterpillar Support program can help!

How We Can Help

First, know that no matter how many host plants you have, it will never be enough because some species of butterflies lay a lot of eggs, and some caterpillars are voracious eaters, for example Monarchs. Even we run out of or run low on certain host plants by the end of the season! 

Based upon how many people we have heard express their need for pesticide-free host plants, we decided to create a free support program to provide whole host plants or leaves, adoption or foster care, to butterfly gardeners who run out of food or are overwhelmed by an abundance of eggs or caterpillars.

First Instar Monarch

We grow all of our host plants to be safe for caterpillars. That means no pesticides, not even organic, are used.

Adoption or foster care

Adoption is the same idea as with people or pets. We will adopt however many caterpillars we think we can properly care for. Foster care entails us raising your caterpillars to a chrysalis and then returning them back to you so that you may enjoy the process of having them eclose and released.

Caterpillar Sitting

Do you have caterpillars or chrysalises that need short-term care while your away from home? We can tend your caterpillars and will send you updates by email or text.

Host Plants

We can provide you with whole host plants or just leaves depending on availability and your situation. Our host plants are grown with lots of love to raise healthy caterpillars.

Relocate Chrysalises

Do you have butterfly chrysalises in awkward or unusual places? We can remove them and place them into a container where they can be protected and safely eclose.

Species We've Raised

We have hand raised 21 different species of Leps collected from our yard. We have identified over 25 different species of host plant within our backyard habitat. For educational and outreach purposes, we hand raise a variety of Swallowtail caterpillars. We also hand raise Monarchs to provide support to their declining population. All other species we typically allow them to go through their life cycle on their own or provide limited intervention as we’ve learned that they know exactly what to do.

Application for Caterpillar Support

Our Caterpillar Support Program is free to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Reside within a 50 mile radius of Hillsborough, NC and live within the state of North Carolina
  • Caterpillars originated on the applicant’s property
  • Provide all required information on the application form including photos

Fields marked with * are required. If we have not responded to your request within 2 hours please send us a text message using this link

Caterpillar Support Form
  • Applicant Info
  • Tell Us About Your Caterpillars
  • Submit Form
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