We love butterflies! They have lifted human hearts for millennia with their fragile, colorful beauty. There are specific flowers that butterflies love, but what if you donít have the space or time to grow butterfly-attracting plants? We can make Butterfly Bait! Because not all butterflies are only attracted to flower-nectar, this magic stuff will attract butterflies to your yard, even if all you have is a balcony.
Just wait until you find out the ingredients of Butterfly Bait! Theyíre not as pretty as the butterflies, thatís for sure–but this magic goop will have White Admirals, Mourning Cloaks, Viceroys and many others flocking to your place. Hereís the formula:
Many butterflies prefer rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion, urine, and other non-nectar sources of nutrients. You can allow fruit from your fruit trees to decay on the ground, leave your petís droppings where they lie, or place a bit of raw meat or fish in a discreet part of your garden.
And here is the formula for Butterfly Bait:
1 pound sugar
1 or 2 cans stale beer
3 mashed overripe banana
1 cup of molasses or syrup
1 cup of fruit juice
1 shot of rum
Mix all ingredients well and paint on trees, fence posts, rocks, or stumps–or simply soak a sponge in the mixture and hang from a tree-limb.
Adapted from The Butterfly Garden, by Matthew Tekulsky (Harvard Common Press, 1985)
For more information about butterflies, including some fascinating facts, and a listing of plants that will attract them, see Care2ís How to Attract Butterflies.