Idlewild Butterfly Farm
ldlewild Butterfly Farm is a privately-owned business in Louisville, KY that operates as a butterfly farm, insectarium, educational destination, and retail store. We promote butterfly habitat cultivation, sustainable agricultural practices, and biological alternatives to chemical pest control.
With the expertise of our staff of entomologists, we breed and rear our own stock of regional native butterflies for exhibits at zoos, botanical gardens, and conservatories across the United States. Butterflies are also available to our local customers for education at home and in the classroom.
Idlewild Butterfly Farm raises butterflies that are native to Kentucky in our insect rearing laboratory. It all starts in our Butterfly Flight House where adult butterflies mate and lay eggs on their host plant. While you can come to Idlewild to see butterflies and learn all about the process of raising them, the primary function of our flight house is for reproduction, not display. Once their amazing life cycle is complete, Idlewild’s butterflies become part of interactive butterfly exhibits across the United States.
Our butterfly rearing laboratory is also a USDA-Inspected Containment Facility that is permitted to house our spectacular collection of live native and exotic insects from around the globe. We care for and breed many insects and arachnids.
Insectarium Tours are limited to 10 people at a time and must be booked online in advance. We also welcome field trips and private tours. The laboratory is only open to the public by taking a tour.
We are committed to ensuring the future of our planet for butterflies, insects and all living species. We provide plants and resources for increasing sustainable native butterfly habitat and founded the Re-wilding Louisville initiative to provide butterfly gardens at no cost throughout Louisville. The plants we sell are grown with the use of beneficial insects, never touched by insecticides, which is critical for their safe inclusion in a butterfly garden. To control pests we use "Good Bugs, Not Drugs."
Good Bugs, Not Drugs
To promote pollinator friendly native habitat, we provide a variety of alternatives to pesticides. We are also experienced in pest identification and working with commercial growers and home gardeners to address their agricultural pest problems using biocontrol or “good bugs, not drugs.” Beneficial insects are seasonally available for purchase, as well as garlic-based Mosquito Barrier yard treatment.
Our historic storefront in Old Louisville is also home to our curated gift shop. We feature wares from American small businesses and fair-trade imports: everything from butterfly wing jewelry and preserved insect specimens to home goods, children’s books and toys, garden art, unique gifts and more.
Give the gift of butterflies with our Butterfly Life Cycle Kits to observe the butterfly life cycle at home. Kit and chrysalis availability is seasonal and varies week to week.