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I posted a while ago about the tent caterpillars on our fruit trees and how to control them organically. I also mentioned that our children love to play with these little guys! So I only remove the nests on the fruit trees.
Well, the kids decided they wanted to try raising them. Of course, I had to agree! Some of the kids let their “pets” go after a few days but my 5-year-old daughter wanted to keep hers until it turned into a lappet moth. She picked leaves for it every day and cleaned the cage out. It’s favourite were fruit tree leaves, but it also liked dandelion leaves.
She was sooo excited to find one morning it had made a chrysalis! We set it up on a shelf an tried to wait patiently. One morning dd9 discovered that the moth had come out!
We took the little moth outside and let it crawl onto a leaf from inside the container. Dd loved looking at her “pet” for a little while!
Then we took it over to the trees and let it crawl onto the bark.
It blends in pretty good, doesn’t it! The kids had so much fun doing this, I bet it won’t be the last time they raise a caterpillar. They keep hoping that they’ll find a monarch caterpillar that they can raise and are always checking the milkweed plants for them!