Not too long ago, one of our blog followers wrote that she had recently purchased a butterfly feeder and was requesting tips that might help her attract butterflies to her new feeder.
I must admit that over the years I have tried several different models of butterfly feeders in my yard. Each one was designed to offer the insects a sugar water solution. In spite of the fact I placed the feeders in a variety of locations, I was not able to attract a single butterfly to any of them.
That being said, butterfly feeders do work for lots of folks. With that in mind, I am convinced I have yet to find the right feeder, location, and/or food that appeals to these beautiful insects in my neck of the woods. Consequently, here is a brief list of some the techniques others have employed to attract butterflies to their backyards:
● Have realistic expectations; the butterflies that most often visit feeders are those that prefer eating dining on such things as animal droppings, tree sap, and rotting fruit. Therefore, you are more apt to attract a pearly-eye, red admiral, or question mark to your feeder than an Eastern tiger swallowtail or one of the sulphur butterflies.
● Carefully follow the directions provided with your feeder. For example, some of the feeders I have tried recommended sugar solutions stronger than the formula commonly used to feed hummingbirds.
● It is always a good idea to change the solution in your feeder after a rain. Rainfall can seep into the feeder and dilute the fluid’s sugar content.
● Protect your feeder from an ant invasion. As such, use the same technique you employ to thwart ants from reaching your hummingbird feeders.
● Keep your feeder clean. As is the case with hummingbird feeders, fungi and bacteria can spoil butterfly nectar.
● Finally, if you are unable to attract butterflies to your feeder, move it to another location.
If you have been successful in attracting butterflies to a butterfly feeder in your backyard, please let us know what works for you. I am sure that many folks would love to know the secret to your success.