The job is done. I plucked off all the little Monarch caterpillars I could find from my Butterfly Milkweed and placed them on temporary leaves from a common Milkweed. Here are a few of them. They didn't skip a beat... just kept on chewing! (And, as you might notice... pushing the "excess" right through!)
I found quite a few of them... probably 15 or so. I kept one of the larger ones in a mason jar with some fresh leaves. I'm driving to visit my daughter, son-in-law, my 4-year-old grandson and my 1 1/2 year-old granddaughter tomorrow. Perhaps a caterpillar/chrysalis/butterfly experience will be fun and educational!
And, yes, I saturated the entire Butterfly Milkweed with insect spray! I got a little heavy-handed, but assume the plant will be happier in the long run.
I also rescued three fuzzy little caterpillars that I hope to identify later. They eat milkweed leaves, too. You'll see one fuzzy little fellow below. I've discovered that it's a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar. Check out this image of the Milkweed Tussock moth!
The following photos show how easily they were transplanted. I was a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. I'm not sure they even noticed the move!
If you click to enlarge the photo of the plant, you may be able to see a few of the caterpillars.
A job "well done." I'll check my plant in the morning... within a few days, there should be several new Monarch Butterflies flying from the ditch!