Overwintering Techniques > Your Own Backyard

If you’re interested in overwintering butterfly early stages on your own property, you need to make sure that your setup has some degree of consistent humidity, protection from predators, including mice, and a reasonable amount of airflow. The photographs below show containers placed inside glass terrariums with screen lids with the terrariums themselves protected by a wooden box and lid. This setup offers less airflow than the Alpine Method of overwintering; but is suitable for those stages of immatures which are less sensitive to dessication and mold as a result of decreased airflow. Those immature stages include pupae as well as mature fifth instars. This technique does not work as well with Nymphalid half-grown larvae, ova, and especially unfed first instar Cercyonis and Speyeria larvae. This technique works only where cold winter temperatures exist. If you live in the sunbelt, using your refrigerator to winter immatures is recommended.