When it comes to bugs, most people are not particularly impressed or inclined to make contact with them. After all, most people see bugs as something disgusting and unpleasant, although there are few bugs that are beloved for their appearance almost universally. One of the best examples of this is the butterfly.

People all around the world appreciate butterflies both for their appearance and for their role in pollinating plants. Butterflies have vibrant colors and designs on their wings that make them quite appealing to look at, especially if you can go to a butterfly house where there may be hundreds of butterflies in one location.

Given the appearance of butterflies, some people may be inclined to try and touch or hold a butterfly. Thankfully, this is something that (with enough practice) anyone can do. Butterflies are extremely docile, if flighty, creatures that pose no threat to humans in any way. They cannot harm people, so chances are that if they get scared when you try to hold them, they will simply fly away.

Because butterflies tend to be as flighty as they are, it can take some time and practice to learn how to attract a butterfly to your hand. But, before you can manage to get this far in approaching a butterfly, you are first going to have to learn how to create the perfect environment to get the butterfly to be inclined to be near you and your hand.

First things first, you are going to want to create an environment that the butterfly is going to want to visit. The first step to getting a butterfly to land in your hand is to have them in your yard in the first place. With that being said, butterflies are pretty easy to attract to your yard as long as you live in an environment where a butterfly’s favored plants can grow.

Attracting the Butterfly to Your Location

To get butterflies to be more attracted to your home and your location, you are going to want to make it appealing to them. The best way to do this is to make sure that you have a plethora of flowers that butterflies will enjoy. This won’t stop bees and other pollinators from getting to those flowers first, but it will ensure that butterflies have a reason to go to your yard.

You can bring the flowers to your yard by purchasing them at your local garden center and have them fully grown by the time you are ready to put them into the ground, or you can choose to plant them during the planting seasons so that they are ready to bloom when it is time for the butterflies to come around. In general, butterflies are going to be most attracted to flowers that have vibrant colors and strong, sweet smells. The easiest flowers for most people to plant that have these traits are going to be marigolds and zinnias.

You will also want to include a wide variety of flowers and plants for butterflies to not only choose from but to relax on and around. This can include plants that have wide leaves to prevent shelter from wind and rain, as well as to soak up the sun on. As for the garden itself, you should try to allow some shallow water or mud puddles to form after rain so that your butterfly can get everything that it needs.

If you really want to bring butterflies to your yard, you can try and make it even more appealing to them by adding more than flowers. Butterflies are attracted to sugars for the most part. Rotting fruit and sap can be wonderful treats for your butterfly and it can also be a good way to create compost for your blooming garden. If you have a dog, some butterflies tend to like the eliminations that animals produce.

Now that you have an area that butterflies are going to be attracted to, you will want to begin working on approaching the butterfly in question. Approaching the butterfly is going to take some practice and time to be able to get near it without it flying away, but with enough attempts, you will be able to hold your own butterfly in your hand.

Approaching the Butterfly

Throughout this process, you will need to keep in mind that butterflies have compound eyes that allow them to see in 360 degrees around them. This means that as you are slowly approaching the butterfly that you want to hold, you will want to move slowly as if it is watching you, even if it seems to be turned away from you.

As you walk toward the butterfly, you will want to move slowly, carefully, and deliberately. You should not make loud noises, such as shouting or yelling, and you should try to keep unnecessary noise to a minimum. You shouldn’t make any large movements that would scare the butterfly either. Your goal should be to get within arm’s reach of the butterfly before stopping.

Once you have reached this area, you should try and push your hand gently to be underneath the butterfly’s feet. You won’t want to use too much pressure to do this, as you may scare the butterfly away in the process. If the butterfly is curious and comfortable with you, doing this should prompt the butterfly to walk onto your hand. Otherwise, it will likely fly away at this point.

If you want to try and make your hand especially appealing to the butterfly, you can do one of two things. You can mix and heat one cup of water and one cup of sugar together until the solution is completely dissolved and the water is clear.

Next, you will want to dilute it slightly by putting about one teaspoon of the solution into half a cup of water so that it will taste similar to the nectar that butterflies appreciate. Using a cotton swab, you will want to apply the solution onto the hand that you want the butterfly to be on.

As butterflies taste with their feet, they will quickly taste this sugar water that you have on your hand, which will entice it to stay there longer and be more inclined to ignore any fear it has of you.

If you notice that butterflies tend to crowd around a specific plant in the yard, before you go to hold the butterfly, you can rub a leaf of that particular plant onto the hand that you will want the butterfly to land on. This will apply the scent of that plant onto your hand, which will increase the chance that the butterfly will want to land on it.

If you know you have sensitive skin, you may want to try rubbing the plant on a patch of skin first to ensure that you won’t have a reaction to the plant.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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