I have an urgent request.  Please keep an open mind while you read my letter.  It may not change your mind but it may help you to understand my thinking and others that feel the same way.

I raise Monarch butterflies and have been doing it for over 15 years. Monarch caterpillars will only eat milkweed and recently my milkweed patch was depleted and I had to resort to getting my milkweed leaves from other people. When I fed the leaves from one person to my caterpillars, I noticed within a few hours that the paper towel lining the bottom of the aquarium had green stains. The caterpillars were throwing up and some were thrashing around. I replaced the leaves with my emergency milkweed leaves from my garden immediately. Thankfully by morning they were fine and eating normally.
They were being poisoned.

The neighbor of the person that supplied me with the milkweed leaves uses chemicals on the ground to control weeds and pesticides to control bugs. Apparently the chemical leached through the ground and into the milkweed plants without killing them or the sprays got onto the leaves and couldn’t be washed off. The milkweed plants are on the side of the house facing this neighbor’s house.  The neighbor was informed of the problem years ago but apparently does not believe that these herbicides and pesticides do any more harm other than getting rid of unwanted weeds and bad insects.

Sprayed pesticides land wherever on flowers. Butterflies, honey bees and birds either drink the nectar or eat the flowers. The pesticide residue can either kill or make them sick. I know that is not the intention of the person doing the spraying but it is happening. We all have to think and make a choice as to what is more important.
I know the chemical weed killers do leach through the ground.  My sister’s neighbors used a chemical to control weeds and get rid of a small tree stump along their fence in their back yard. My sister’s vegetable garden was on the other side of their fence. When my sister ate the vegetables from her garden, she got deathly ill. The chemicals had leached into her garden soil and infected her vegetables. She was allergic to any kind of spray or chemical.
Consider the beneficial worm that helps to aerate and fertilize our soil. If the chemicals can make the caterpillars above ground sick or cause them to die, what is it doing to the worms and other beneficial insects in the soil? What happens when the birds eat the sick worms? What happens when there aren’t any worms for the birds to eat?

If you really cannot stand any weeds in your lawn or just hate weeding, there are safe ways or organic methods for getting rid of weeds and pests. They do not work as well and may take a lot longer to do anything but isn’t it worth it to preserve what we have instead of harming our natural environment? No one is going to make you stop using any chemicals nor should they. You have to do that yourself.  Please, please just give it some thought.

The Rolling Meadows Garden Club has three members who raise Monarch Butterflies and one member who is a bee keeper.

Below is an appeal from member Shirley, who raises Monarch Butterflies.

Member Shirley has also authored a book on Monarch Butterflies.  We are so proud of her!  This book also contains lots of informative pictures taken by her niece and photographer, Sherri Thomas.

Monarch on Zinnia

If you would like to purchase this book for $20, email rollingmeadowsgardenclub@gmail.com and you will be put in touch with the author.

Monarch Caterpillar Eating

Caterpillar Pesticide Death