So Many Gulf Frits & No More Milkweed Bugs

Sorry for the lack of updates! I've been busy maintaining the garden with the lack of rain, controlling a wild rat problem, and my grandparents came to visit Florida for a couple weeks. I've also been doing some bass and catfishing, see my fishing blog at

Milkweed Bugs, I wrote about these bugs a couple months ago. The tropical milkweed planted next to the bird bath was infested with these suckers for awhile. The plant was showing alot of damage, so much the butterflies wouldn't even touch it. Using insecticidal soap did little to nothing, there were just too many milkweed bugs ranging from baby nymphs to adults. Fortunately milkweed is a resilient plant and grows back very fast. So I just chopped off all the stems and bagged them in a ziploc bag. The milkweed bugs tend to cluster around the very tops of the stems where new growth would occur. Once all the stems were cut and bagged, there were no more milkweed bugs on the plant. Within weeks, the milkweed bounced back and now it looks great.

Gulf Fritillary butterflies are very popular here and almost always sighted when I walk outside in the garden. They love the Candy Cane Zinnias, Yellow Lantana, Marigolds, and of course the Passiflora (gulf frit host plant). I only have one potted passiflora, and it's loaded with caterpillars and eggs. In fact, as I'm looking outside now I can see two Gulf Frit butterflies flirting with each other in the air. The Monarchs are still hanging around, about 1 or 2 a day seems to be the average. There was a Giant Swallowtail visiting a Yellow Lantana for awhile but I haven't seen any swallowtails in the last couple of weeks. I even planted some dill and parsley to attract Black Swallowtail caterpillars but no luck so far.