Butterfly Garden pests, predators, and diseases

Nature exists as an interconnected web. Every species consumes something else, and is in turn consumed.  The pendulum swings back and forth, but an equilibrium is established.  So it’s not really accurate to talk about things like ladybird beetles as “good” and other things like wasps as “bad”.  They are all busy getting on with their business of surviving and reproducing.  There are creatures whose presence will boost the number of butterflies, and creatures who will reduce the number of butterflies.

However as Butterfly Gardeners we want to push the pendulum off-balance, and create an environment that favours a larger number of butterflies then would normally be present.  We can do that by encouraging the factors that boost butterfly numbers and discourage or remove factors that decrease butterfly numbers.

Is this “natural”?  Well, no.  But then is any form of gardening “natural”?

So here is a list of creatures that you might want to discourage in your pursuit of more butterflies in your backyard.

Pests

Milkweed Aphids
Milkweed Moth
Buddleja leaf Weevil (Cleopus japonicus)

Predators

Wasps

Shining Cuckoos

Weta

Spiders

Praying Mantids

Steelblue ladybirds

Ants

Hedgehogs

Mice

Diseases

This is an excellent illustrated guide to Monarch Butterfly Diseases & Parasites: http://www.evansonart.com/monarchdisease.html

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