Idlewild Butterfly Farm & Insectarium is a privately owned small business in Louisville, KY that operates as a butterfly farm, insect rearing lab, educational center, and retail store. Owned and operated by degreed entomologists, Idlewild is a sister company of Entomology Solutions LLC, which was founded by Blair Leano-Helvey in 2009. She went on to open Idlewild Butterfly Farm in 2015.
Idlewild is a USDA-inspected facility which houses a number of insects, arachnids and other arthropods, including tropical species that cannot be found anywhere else in the state. We let our guests hold and interact closely with many of these amazing creatures as part of a guided tour through our rearing lab. Our outdoor flight house operates during the warmer months and is stocked with several species of butterflies which roam freely within the enclosed space.
We raise butterflies and other insects for special events such as weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, funerals, memorials, birthdays, retirements, christenings, graduations, or any other occasion. We also offer items such as butterfly life cycle kits, live butterfly displays, and many other ways to create the experience of a lifetime. Idlewild also offers on- and off-site educational programs for schools, private groups, or your special occasion.
Blair Leano-Helvey is the owner and mastermind behind Idlewild Butterfly Farm. Blair has always had a passion for all things creepy and crawly and Idlewild is her way of sharing that passion with her local community. With backgrounds in various areas of entomology such as biological control, pollinator and butterfly conservation, insect rearing and more, Blair and the team of entomologists at Idlewild are some of the most knowledgeable (and friendliest) folks around.
Rachel Barger is Idlewild’s lead insect keeper and lab manager. Rachel graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in biology and entomology, and their experience rearing insect colonies in a lab setting was a perfect fit for Idlewild. Rachel’s chief duties include managing Idlewild’s insectarium and all of its residents, providing entomological consults, and interfacing with a curious community. Rachel has been with the Idlewild team since the business opened in 2015 and has been sharing their quirky personality and breadth of knowledge with visitors to the facility ever since.
Rachelyn Dobson is our education and outreach specialist. Rachelyn graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in biology and agriculture and a M.S. degree in entomology. As an undergraduate research assistant, she supported research projects investigating native bee pollination in various crops and aided with the implementation of biological control programs in several local greenhouses. For her master’s thesis she studied organic control options for the invasive brown marmorated stink bug. Rachelyn joined the Idlewild team in 2015 and has been excited to share her love of beautiful and beneficial insects with the community!