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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Sep 12, 2016 12:21 AM CST
Well, I was hoping that the butterflies and caterpillars were just busy elsewhere, but it's been about a month now since I've seen butterflies and even dragonflies in my yard. Typically September is an active month for them in my yard. It seems hauntingly eerie. Where are they?

I fear the mosquito spraying may have affected many insects, not just the blood suckers. Is anyone else here in Florida noticing the same thing? They have been spraying here probably more than typical because of the Zika virus. Confused Sad Sad Sad
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Sep 12, 2016 11:44 AM CST
I did run across this item recently:
http://www.wtma.com/news/millions-of-bees-killed-in-summervi...

Here's a pic of some gulf Frits....
Thumb of 2016-09-12/stone/fea9b3
Name: Sheridragonfly/Sheri
Alabama (Zone 8b)
Salvias Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Sheridragonfly
Sep 12, 2016 12:01 PM CST
I think it is the spraying..just saw one spray they are using has been outlawed in Europe or somewhere
and that one is killing the honey bees they are using near Miami for Zika
there is another one that is safer and it was mentioned being used in other parts of Florida for Zika
virus.
I live near the panhandle of Florida in Alabama not far from Destin area etc...and my having had encephalitis back in the
1960's and surviving it...I sure do not want Zika virus.

I do have lovely swallowtails and zebra this week and sulphur butterflys on the salvias and butterfly bushes in
Sheri's healing flower garden..Hummingbirds still here till maybe oct 15th..have sugar water fresh twice a week
out for them

Dragonflys not as many this year as usual in August...the solid blue ones that are so brilliant like the one I will post that goes with my name as sheridragonfly..they did not arrive this year as usual in August.

Sheridragonfly/sheri
Thumb of 2016-09-12/Sheridragonfly/5b051b

Name: Britnay
Detroit Mi (Zone 6a)
Oh! What's that?! ....oops...
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1hugaholic
Oct 14, 2016 12:20 PM CST
Your not alone. I live in Michigan, and I've seen a decline in not only butterflies and caterpillars this year, I haven't seen a single humming bird this year. First year I haven't seen one.
A part of me is hoping I just haven't seen them, but I can't help but wonder.... Sad Crying
Lord please let this seed not be a weed!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Oct 14, 2016 7:45 PM CST

Moderator

Still lots of butterflies north of Tampa and down here in Naples.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Nov 26, 2016 6:39 AM CST
Thanks for all the replies. I lost track of this thread before I was able to reply.

Fortunately, I was able to see butterflies this month and even some Monarch caterpillars. Not many, but a few. My milkweed plants seem to be doing quite well with the cooler weather!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Nov 26, 2016 1:42 PM (+)]
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upat5
Nov 26, 2016 9:39 AM CST
Random thoughts about the decline...First, personally I think spraying for Zika is ineffective. I spent some yrs in Puerto Rico a couple of decades ago, and I, among 100s of others contracted dengue, a virus similar to Zika. It seemed then, as it did at the time of the building of the Panama Canal and yellow fever that the answer was not chemicals but physical labour which required getting rid of standing water! Chemicals are not, by themselves, enough to rid areas of mosquitoes.

Second, I don't think the Zika spraying is to blame for the decline everyone is seeing. It can't help but it's not the cause. Don't know if anyone else has noticed but I am noticing an increase in parasites that attack caterpillars. Not into conspiracy theories but....I am in VA, an area heavily plagued by marmorated stink beetles (import from Asia). For the past 5 yrs that I've lived in my house, I have been swamped by these bettles in the house every Fall and Spring...I'm talking about 100's a day in the house! These beetles don't just annoy homeowners but they've done much harm to fruit and vegetable crops and to the very lucrative wine industry (particularly in Northern VA). So about 2 yrs ago, imported parasitic wasps started showing up in the stink beetle's egg masses...they were supposedly "accidently" imported and it just so happens that they seem to restrict themselves to stink beetles (guess native stink beetles don't matter). This year we have seen encountered 5 stink beetles total. To me, this is scary to see a population this large reduced so quickly! It is scary because biocontrols are being applied as usual with no consideration for collateral damage. Another possible example: use of parasitic wasps or flies to knock out those "nasty" hornworms (I do not personally consider them nasty at all!) and take down a few other species of moths or butterflies in the process...this, in my humble opinion, is a big part of the problem. Combine excessive biocontrol with abnormal weather patterns and habitat loss and I think you have the bigger picture.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Nov 26, 2016 11:12 AM CST
upat5 - Thanks for your response! You may very well be right about your theory. I had a lot of butterflies over the summer and then in August and September, the numbers went down to about null. There was extensive mosquito spraying in my area during those months. So that is where I got my theory from.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden

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