Point Loma-OB Monthly got in touch with Xerces Society volunteer Gina Feletar to learn the best ways to preserve the Peninsula’s beautiful Monarch Butterflies:
1) Avoid pesticide use: Check-out the non-chemical options and ask your neighbors to do the same.
2) Plant organic native milkweed: When purchasing milkweed (a Monarch’s sustenance), confirm with the nursery that their plants are not sprayed or pre-treated with pesticides. If they only carry tropical milkweed, ask them to supply native milkweed because tropical milkweed does not die back in the winter and that causes disease build-up. If you already have tropical milkweed planted, make sure you cut it back during the winter months. If you don’t live somewhere you can plant milkweed, place a potted milkweed plant or two on your patio.
3) Don’t become a backyard breeder: Releasing Monarchs at events such as weddings or funerals can be a beautiful gesture, but it can also be harmful to the Monarchs. Rearing small numbers for classrooms and educational purposes isn’t damaging, but if not done properly, breeding in large amounts can introduce disease into the populations.
4) Donate or get involved: Tag your friends via social media to let them know the Monarchs need saving! Opportunities come up for milkweed planting projects or join the Campaign for Non Toxic San Diego. Membership in the Xerces Society is $35, and your money goes to supporting habitat restoration, conservation, education and resources. —Source: Xerces.org