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Frequently Asked Questions

Butterflies
Ladybugs
Praying Mantis
Ordering Information


Butterfly Questions

Once my order is placed online, how long until I receive my butterflies?
Expect 1-2 weeks for delivery. Here's how that breaks down. Processing time is approximately 3-4 working days, delivery time is approximately 3-4 working days depending on your destination. The kits travel roughly four days in the mail, or a maximum of two days if you choose FedEx rush shipping. Count on 6 to 8 days from the day you place your order if you ship standard, 3 or 4 if you expedite it.
If you rush your order, we make certain that your order processes and ships the same day that you order it, (as long as it’s placed by 1pm Pacific Time).

What is the charge for shipping?
Mainland England, Wales and Scottish Lowlands:

For orders up to £75 (ex vat), please add £4.95.  For orders more than£75, carriage free. Scottish highlands, Channel Islands, BFPO, Northern Ireland, Overseas and Remote areas, please call for shipping cost.

I lost my instructions. Where can I get more?
Online instructions for all our living kits are right here.

How long does the total butterfly life cycle take?
Approximately 3 weeks (7 to 10 days in the larval stage and 7 to 10 days in the pupal stage).

How long will the butterflies live?
Their normal life span is 2 to 4 weeks.

When should I release my butterflies?
Release your butterflies outside if the daytime temperature is above 55 degrees.

My larvae arrived but aren't moving. Are they dead?
Probably not. They may be a bit tired from their travels during shipping. Also, your caterpillars need to do a lot of eating to store up enough energy to change into butterflies. All this eating means that they also do a fair share of laying around, digesting! If you see no movement in one week, return the cultures for a replacement. Insect Lore guarantees that 3 of every 5 caterpillars will develop into perfect adult butterfly specimens

Do the larvae have enough air?
Yes. Please notice the small air holes around the rims of the containers.

Can I remove the lid and play with the larvae?
No. Removing the lids could introduce bacteria to your caterpillars and their food source. Don't open the vials until your caterpillars form chrysalids, just to be on the safe side.

What are the "little brown balls" I see?
This is the caterpillar's "frass" or waste. You can also call it "poop," since poop is really just more fun to say.

What do I do after the chrysalids are formed?
Open the lid of the cup, remove the paper disk and pin it to the inside wall of the Butterfly habitat.

If a chrysalid falls off the disk, what should I do?
Gently remove it from the cup and lay the chrysalid in the bottom of the habitat on a napkin or paper towel.

Why are the chrysalids shaking?
This is a natural instinct to ward off predators.

What is the red liquid I see the butterflies extrete?
It is called meconium. It is the leftover coloring and tissues from the wing formation, and it's a natural part of the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. It is not blood.

What do I do if my butterflies lay eggs that hatch?

Young larvae like to eat thistle, hollyhock, fiddleneck & malva. Find some and place the leaves near the larvae. Be sure that the plants haven't been sprayed with pesticides, however!

How do I clean my butterfly habitat before reusing it?
Just rinse the mesh with warm tap water – detergent or soap may be too strong for your next batch of inhabitants. Let it hang dry, and you’re ready to use it again.

Can you ship to Canada?
We simply can't ship our caterpillars to Canada, or Mexico, or Hawaii. Import restrictions, you see. Even though Painted ladies are native to all of the hemisphere, we can't mail them across the border.

What is your guarantee?
We guarantee your satisfaction with your live butterfly kit, and that 3 of 5 caterpillars will grow to become Painted Lady butterflies. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your experience, or need a replacement of your caterpillars, simply let us know via our online Customer Service here.


Ladybug Questions

How long does it take for my larvae to arrive?
Expect 1 to 3 weeks for delivery, although we try to make delivery faster.

I lost my instructions. Where can I get more?
Online instructions for all our living kits are right here.

How long does the whole process take?
Expect approximately 3 weeks from the day the larvae are delivered to your door to the day you release your adult ladybugs; you'll enjoy a week as larvae, a week as pupae, and a week as adults.

How often should I water and feed the ladybugs?
Once your ladybug larvae have undergone their metamorphosis into adult ladybugs, get 1 or 2 raisins. Soak them in water for about 5 minutes. Blot them dry on a paper towel.
Now cut them in half and drop them into the habitat. This should keep your ladybugs fed for about a week. If and when the raisins disappear, put one more in as before. If you have plant leaves with aphids on them, you can put these into the habitat. Ladybugs love to eat aphids.
Use the enclosed pipette to drip two to three drops of fresh water onto the watering pad inside the Land’s mountain crater every other day. This will give the ladybugs some extra water to drink. Don’t overwater! Don’t add too much – the ladybugs don’t need a pond! Standing water can drown the ladybugs. Just keep the sponge moist.
If you see that the watering pad is moist, skip a day of watering. If you see fog, condensation, or water droplets form on the sides of the habitat, do not add any water until it’s dried up.

How long will my ladybugs live?
If you keep them in the habitat, approximately 2 to 3 weeks. In the wild, they can live up to a year.

How long should I keep the ladybugs in the habitat?
We suggest releasing your ladybugs after one week. Make sure temperatures are above 55 degrees before releasing. During Winter, keep you ladybugs inside the Land for their entire life span.

What are the spots I see on the inside of the habitat?
This is a bit of the fluid that ladybugs naturally exude. A sticky, stinky fluid comes from their feet, making them taste bad to their enemies.

Can I hold a ladybug?
Sure! Just be careful when opening the habitat. You don’t want too many escapees!

If I have dead ladybugs in the habitat, what should I do?
We suggest leaving them inside until you release all of the live ladybugs. If you try to remove the dead ladybugs, the live ladybugs may escape.

I see no air holes in the Ladybug Land dome. Can the insects breathe?
Sure! The chamber contains more than enough air for their tiny bodies – think of those 15 to 20 ladybugs in human terms as a football stadium’s worth of air for 15 to 20 people in the SuperDome.

Can I reuse the ladybug habitat?
Sure! Refill kits of live ladybug larvae are available on our website at insectlore.com here. You can also use the Ladybug habitat to house other insects – just be sure to release them after a few hours of interesting observation.

Can you ship to Canada?
We simply can't ship our ladybugs to Canada, or Mexico, Oregon or Hawaii. Import restrictions, you see. Even though ladybugs are native to all of the hemisphere, we can't mail them across the border.

What is your guarantee?
We guarantee your satisfaction with your live ladybug kit, and that your larvae will grow to become adults. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your experience, or need a replacement of your ladybugs, simply let us know via our online Customer Service here.


Praying Mantis Questions

I lost my instructions. Where can I get more?
Online instructions for all our living kits are right here.

Why aren't Mantis egg cases available year-round?
Praying mantids simply don't reproduce on-demand, or in captivity, really. They only lay egg cases during early spring.

What is your guarantee?

We guarantee your satisfaction with your live praying mantis kit, and that your egg case will hatch. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your experience, simply let us know via our online Customer Service here.


Ordering Information Questions

I'm having trouble ordering online, what can I do?
You can order by Phone, Fax or Mail!
Ordering By Phone:
Call us toll-free at 1-800-LIVE BUG begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-LIVE BUG      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (1-800-548-3284 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-548-3284      end_of_the_skype_highlighting). We accept DiscoverCard, MasterCard and Visa. Please have your credit card ready before calling. $10.00 minimum, please. Monday - Friday, 8:00 to 5:00 Pacific Time.
Ordering By Fax:
Fax to 1-661-746-0334. If ordering from a school, organization or institution, please fax your order on company letterhead or on our order form. Please include a signature from a billing authorization official. 24 hours a day.
Ordering By Mail:
Insect Lore, Box 1535, Shafter, CA 93263
Insect Lore accepts Discover Card, MasterCard, Visa, check or money order.
To order by Mail or Fax, print out this file:
Download Order Form (pdf file)
Download Order Information (pdf file)

Do you accept Purchase Orders?
We will accept purchase orders by mail or fax only (to 661-746-0334 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              661-746-0334      end_of_the_skype_highlighting). Call-in purchase orders are not accepted. You may also place an order on your own letterhead or on our order form. Please include a signature from a billing authorization official.

What about ordering live critters?
If you are ordering live specimens, make sure you are ready to use them. All shipments containing live materials must be opened immediately upon receipt. If you are a school and your orders arrive at a warehouse, make arrangements to have your living materials handled. We cannot be responsible for live shipments that are left unattended.

What are coupons and certificates?
These are redeemable for live insects and critters. Certificates are like money, they're worth the value of your live shipment. If you are not sure about ordering live or by certificate, order certificates for live creatures. If you order certificates, put them in a safe place. Your original certificates must be returned by mail or redeemed online using the unique code before the live specimens can be shipped.
You can redeem your certificate by fax. Just fax to 661-746-0334. We cannot redeem certificates by phone and cannot be responsible for lost certificates.

What if I've lost my coupon or certificate for the live shipment?
We have bad news for you. Each coupon or certificate that comes in a kit has a unique code on it that's "worth" the live critter shipment. Without the coupon or certificate code to redeem ... well, you get it.

 

How long will it take to receive my order?
Processing time is approximately 3-4 working days, delivery time is approximately 5 working days. The kits take roughly four days in the mail, or two days if you choose FedEx rush shipping.
Count on 6 to 8 days from the day you place your order if you ship standard, 3 or 4 if you expedite it. If you rush your order, we make certain that your order processes and ships the same day that you order it, (as long as it’s placed by 1pm Pacific Time).
If temperatures are extremely hot or cold, live shipments will be delayed to ensure the critters' survival en route.

 


Still Didn't Answer Your Question?

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