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Rhonda J. Ferree

Rhonda J. Ferree
Former Extension Educator, Horticulture

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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
swallowtail on sweet william

Are there less butterflies this summer?

I've heard several comments this summer about butterfly numbers being less than in previous years. One reader reported that she has had hardly any butterflies in her butterfly garden since the drought began. Why is this happening?

I am not an entomologist, but from what I've read I wonder if the warm spring has more to do with it than the current drought. Certainly the drought and other factors are impacting them as well. This article about an annual butterfly count in Mason county explains this a bit more.

In my gardens I had good butterfly numbers earlier, but they have declined in recent days. My plants are irrigated, lush, and healthy, so I don't think the drought is the reason (at least those hatching and feeding in my yard). How are butterfly numbers in your area?

Rhonda Ferree
Extension educator in horticulture

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