View the recording of Betina Loudermilk’s talk about the plight of the Western monarch butterflies and what you can do to help them survive
For COSF’s summer 2022 Speaker Series virtual presentation on June 8, butterfly educator Betina Loudermilk of Betina’s Little Farm & Butterfly Garden gave a fact-filled presentation about the East and West Coast monarch migrations and lifecycles. She discussed the mysterious resurgence of the Western monarchs and the grave threats they still face.
Loudermilk detailed her own experiences creating a butterfly garden and shared some firsthand knowledge of butterfly rearing. (She also noted a change in California wildlife law that now prohibits captive monarch raising—an important fact to be aware of. Another important legal change is the new ban on tropical milkweed sales in Ventura County.)
View the video recording of her presentation by clicking on this image
Among her suggestions for would-be monarch supporters:
- Avoid planting non-native milkweeds, particularly tropical milkweed because it can foster disease. (See related story link above.)
- Be aware of your milkweed’s sourcing and avoid plants treated with pesticides or Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a biological pest control that targets nuisance caterpillars but also kills monarch larvae.
- Feel free to include some non-native plants in your butterfly garden if you want to provide support for other species of butterflies, such as the gulf fritillary, which is naturalized in our area and depends on passionflower vines.
Below is a list of resources and background information you may find helpful to build on Loudermilk’s topic: “The Monarch Miracle 2022.”
To purchase plants or seeds
Xerces Society Milkweed Finder [seeds]
Theodore Payne Foundation [seeds, plants]
Growing Works [plants; check for “retail days”]
For information about conservation and volunteering
Xerces Society Monarch Butterfly Conservation
Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration