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Encourage Butterflies to Visit by Meeting their Needs
- Plant larval foods. Many caterpillars, which metamorphose into butterflies, require require specific host plants for food. By selecting particular species, you can provide the basic habitat requirements for specific species that you'd like to see as adults. Since highly preferred hosts may be unattractive or eaten until they have few leaves, plan an out-of-the-way place for these hosts. You might also want to provide host plants for some of the more attractive moths.
- Plant species with nectar needed by adults. Butterflies are attracted by sweet-, pungent- and acrid-smelling flowers that are orange, yellow, pink, purple and red. Plants with deep throated, drooping or enclosed flowers are unsuitable for nectar-gathering. Some of these, especially white flowers that are fragrant at night, may attract moths.
- Avoid pesticide use. Especially avoid use of Bacillus thuringensis, broad-spectrum insecticides, and any insecticide that is broadcast broadly in the environment.