How Long Do Butterflies Live?

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Ever wanted butterflies as pets? Unfortunately, like most insects, their lifespan isn’t very long. That makes having them as pets unrealistic. However, contrary to popular belief, their life span isn’t as short as people think. 

The butterfly’s life span depends on its species and environment. The average life span of butterflies can be between a day to several months. 

What is the life span of a butterfly?

On average, most butterfly species have a life span of about two weeks in their adult stage. Each of their life stages lasts a different amount of time. A butterfly’s life starts as an egg. It takes it between 5 to 10 days to hatch into a caterpillar. In the next 2 to 4 weeks the caterpillar grows and then becomes a pupa. The pupal stage can last from 10 to 15 days, and then the adult butterfly emerges. This process is called metamorphosis. 

What butterfly lives for 24 hours?

The mayfly spends two years as larvae underwater but lives for only one day in their adult stage. It’s one of the insects with the shortest life spans. 

A common misconception is that the fruit fly has the shortest life span and lives only a day, but it can actually live up to a month.

How long do monarch butterflies live?

The average lifespan of monarch butterflies in good conditions (mainly in Central and South America) is up to 9 months. However, in other areas which don’t offer their ideal living conditions, they would typically live up to 6 weeks only.

How long do red admiral butterflies live?

In their ideal habitat, which are wooded places and fields, red admirals can live up to 10 months. That is for their wintering generation, while the earlier generations have a shorter life span.

How long do painted lady butterflies live?

One of the most widespread butterfly species in the UK, the painted lady has an average life span of 12 months. That is combined for all their life stages – from egg to adult. And this is their life span in the wild.

How do butterflies die?

Unfortunately, in recent years the use of pesticides on crops and fields contributes to the quick death of butterflies as well as other insects and field animals. 

Habitat loss, natural causes and predator attacks are the other reasons butterflies die.

Do butterflies hibernate?

Five out of the many butterfly species in the UK hibernate. They are the Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals, Brimstone and Comma. All of these spend the winter hiding in cold and damp holes in buildings or tunnels. Generally, they would not come inside your home. However, if you happen to find any butterflies hibernating in your home in winter, the best thing you can do is gently take them outside into your shed.

Some species have two generations a year. The autumn-born butterflies’ lifespan is prolonged by their winter hibernation. 

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How long do moths live?

This question is often asked about the common household pest which is the brown moth. So the adult brown moth lives between two and four months before dying of old age. 

Lifespan of a moth

The life span of a moth, on average, takes 11-13 months depending on conditions. This period is for a full life cycle from an egg to an adult. 

A single female moth can lay up to 400 eggs in its short life span. It takes up to 10 days but no less than 4 days for eggs to hatch. It depends on the temperature and humidity in the place the eggs are laid.

The moth larvae stage has the longest life span. This stage can continue for up to 2,5 years. This is also the destructive stage of moths and that makes moth infestations troublesome. They live long and can spend the entire time feeding on fibers inside your home. 

Unlike butterflies, moths only produce one generation a year which is good for homes with a moth infestation

Read more about the differences between moths and butterflies.

How long do moths stay in their cocoon?

The period depends on environmental conditions but it’s typically between 8 to 10 days. A moth larva becomes a cocoon after it’s reached the right size.

How long do moths live without food?

Many moth species feed only when they are in their caterpillar stage, which explains why their life span is so short. When they become adult moths, they cannot ingest food which leads to their death in a couple of days or weeks, depending on the moth species.

Have moths infestation at home?

 At the first signs of a moth infestation, you should take measures. As we said, a single moth can lay between 100 and 400 eggs. The larvae that have the longest life span are the ones that cause damage in your home. 

Fantastic Pest Control offers several types of moth treatments and control. You can give us a call when you suspect you have a problem. 

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