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Stop Monarch Butterflies From Laying Eggs Low on a Milkweed Stem.

In an enclosed egg production area, Monarch butterflies often insist on laying eggs low on stems of milkweed. When one prepares to disinfect the eggs, they can be difficult to remove. Eggs that are not removed will hatch and eat the plant as it regrows. It is easy to stop them from laying eggs on stems close to the soil. The solution is basic and uses simple common sense. Why it took us a while to start doing this, we'll never know!

Monarch eggs
on milkweed stems

Foil on
milkweed stems
near the soil

Monarch eggs
on a nursery pot
Monarchs will also lay eggs on the nursery pot or flower pot in which milkweed is growing. To prevent this, simply cover the pot with soil.

If eggs are laid too close together, add more milkweed plants or remove some Monarch females.

Well over 100
Monarch eggs
on 1 leaf

Monarch eggs
off the leaves

Monarch hatchling
larvae eating
unhatched eggs
When eggs are too close, hatchling Monarch larvae will eat unhatched eggs. To prevent this cannibalism when eggs are laid too close to each other on a leaf, remove the eggs from the leaf before disinfecting the eggs. Tip: the eggs are much easier to remove when the leaves are not dehydrated or wilted.