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Found butterfly in house

(6 Posts)
FlowerFairiee Sun 27-Nov-16 13:32:43

I wasn't sure whether to post this, as I can't find a category for wildlife, but I'm hoping someone can help. Last night I found a tortoishell butterfly in my house. I suspect it was hibernating but had been woken due to my house being warm with the radiators. It has flown a bit, but generally has been quite slow and sleepy. I'm really not sure what to do. It is currently outside in a shoe box. Should I keep it in the house?

INeedNewShoes Sun 27-Nov-16 13:35:13

I think you should keep it in the house.

I don't know anything about wildlife really, but my dad is a great appreciator of butterflies and I clearly remember as a kid the butterfly (which actually I think may also have been tortoiseshell) that lived in the corner of the landing ceiling for a whole winter.

If you put it outside I don't think it will live long at all in these temperatures where as in the Spring it might get to enjoy a bit of life outside smile

I'll be interested to see what someone who actually knows what they're talking about has to say!

ColintheCrow Sun 27-Nov-16 13:40:04

Don't butterflies only have a few weeks to live as butterflies? Must have been a late bloomer.

FlowerFairiee Sun 27-Nov-16 13:41:23

Thank you for getting back to me. I've brought it back in the house and he is now in a shoe box at the top of the wardrobe in the spare bedroom which is generally quite cool as the radiator is never on. It has put it's wings together, so I'm hoping it will go to sleep. I'm worried because I'm moving in a fortnight, but I could maybe see if one of my friends can keep it in their house over the winter.

powershowerforanhour Fri 09-Dec-16 22:19:56

Try a saucer of sugar water for a food source..only half full so it has room to stand at the side*
*this advice may be rubbish, consult your local lepidopterist, or whatever you call it.

CatBallou2 Tue 03-Jan-17 00:44:25

I find butterflies in my house during winter as well. Sadly, yesterday, I found a dead one.

Found the following advise.

It is only the small tortoiseshell and peacock butterfly that regularly overwinter inside houses. They come in during late summer or early autumn, when it is still warm outside and our houses appear to provide suitably cool, sheltered, dry conditions.

However, come Christmas, when the central heating is cranked up, these butterflies may be awoken prematurely by high indoor temperatures. This presents a major problem for the butterfly as the outside weather conditions may be very hostile and there is little nectar available in gardens.

It is also a problem for the concerned householder. How best to help these poor confused butterflies unwittingly tricked into thinking spring has come early? The best solution is to re-house the butterfly in a suitable location.

Catch it carefully, place it in a cardboard box or similar and leave it in a cool place for half an hour or so to see if it will calm down. Once calmed, you might be able to gently encourage the now sleepy butterfly out on to the wall or ceiling of an unheated building such as a shed, porch, garage or outhouse. Just remember that the butterfly will need to be able to escape when it awakens in spring.

If you have no suitable hibernation place, then it would be best to keep the butterfly as cool as possible, to minimise activity, and then to release it outside during a spell of nice weather

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