Butterflies will often congregate around mud puddles, or even just damp soil. These congregation areas are called mudding or puddling spots. Butterflies are drawn to them for the salts and minerals that are dissolved in the water.
You can create an artificial mudding spot by providing a wet spot of soil that is free of vegetation. Butterflies can’t swim and don’t like to get their feet wet so you don’t actually need standing water – a good thing for mosquito management. All you need is damp soil to create a mudding spot for butterflies.
It may take a while for the butterflies to find your mudding spot, so be patient and, if possible, try to provide multiple sites around your property. You may find that some spots are more popular than others. Artificial mudding spots also tend to be more effective during dry periods when there are fewer natural mud puddles and wet spots.
This article was part of Shannon’s original Kentucky Pollinators and Backyard Wildlife blog which evolved into the blog for Backyard Ecology.
Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at www.backyardecology.net.