oh my I feel terrible about this! In the last 24 hours I have found about 21 sick and dying caterpillars in the house and outside! They are laying on their side, vomiting and then after several hours they die. Caterpillars do not lie on their sides! As soon as I saw that I knew something was wrong. I just don't know what I did wrong. Of course this could be something out of my control completely. When you do a project like this you definitely feel like you are playing God but I also like the feeling that I am helping these guys survive.
So there are a few possibilities of problems. I could have brought home some caterpillars that were affected with a virus or bacteria. I also may have brought home milkweed leaves that had been sprayed with a pesticide. Although I find that unlikely, it is possible. I think the more plausible explanation is bringing home caterpillars that are infected with something. Yikes! I had such a good run. I am hoping to find out more, I emailed a man I know that has much more experience than I do. I will post the results tomorrow.
My butterfly tally is 166! i am happy about that! I have about 120 chrysalis right now.