Yesterday, I was out checking my herbs and found a bunch of caterpillars on my fennel plant. My father-in-law told me that was fine and was excited to see the caterpillars, so he and my husband made a butterfly box.
Being as I was not in on the project, not going to deal with measurements when telling you the instructions on how to make this because I don’t have them on hand and wasn’t actually part of the project.
2 Furring Strips (1 X 1/2 X 6)
Thin plywood or any old boards
T-50 stapler and staples
Build a box with your furring strips (my guess is 24 in Height by 12 in deep by 12 in wide). Cut your plywood to fit the bottom and top. Make sure you cut a section out for a door on the top. Add that piece back to the top and put a hinge on there to hold it in place. Stretch your screen as tight as possible across each side (will take two people — one to stretch and one to staple) and staple the screen on all sides to the frame. Repeat this process until all open sides are covered with screen. Now you have a butterfly box. Place your caterpillars in the box with a plant or some sticks and you’ll be able to see them turn from caterpillars to butterflies or moths.
The stripped caterpillars will become black swallowtail butterflies and then there is also a tomato worm in there which will turn into a hawk moth.
By the way if you’re interested in attracting butterflies, fennel, dill, and anise are all good herbs to attract them. Also Buddlea (sp?) or the butterfly bush also attracts butterflies.