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Monarch butterflies stop by northwest Ohio as part of their annual migration

Where they're going and how you can catch a glimpse of these beautiful butterflies.

WHITEHOUSE, Ohio — You may have noticed a lot of butterflies in the area the past couple of weeks.

For instance, check out this video from Fostoria resident Myra Spires, of a phenomena that happens this time of year in northwest Ohio.

Duke Wheeler, owner of the Butterfly House at Wheeler Farms, said that those butterflies are getting ready to make a 3,000 mile trip. Every year around this time, the black and orange monarch butterflies begin their southern migration to warmer weather to keep the species going.

"The monarchs are local, east of the Rocky Mountains, and are migrating down to Mexico. There's a fir tree, the oyamel fir tree that they stay in, and from what I've seen of the monarchs this year, it's going to be the biggest population that we've had in I'll say, 10-15 years," Wheeler said.

If you haven't seen any yet, you're more likely to see them on the west side of town in the early evening, maybe just after you're done watching the 6 p.m. news.

Another option is to visit the Wheeler's butterfly house in Whitehouse in the next couple of weekends.

The butterfly house runs on solar power, operatiing much like migrating butterflies do. If their body temperature gets too low, they can't fly. So, they spread out their wings to absorb heat from the sun until they're ready to take off again.

"They fly an average of 50 miles a day, so people appreciate that, and we've all lost somebody in our life, and butterflies are mystical there. They show up when you least expect them, and then you say, 'Jeez, mom, thanks for watching over me,'" Wheeler said.

A northward migration takes place year after year in the spring. Female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation on their way back to the area between March and May.

If you want to see more butterflies in your yard next year, experts like Wheeler advise to plant milkweed along with other flowers, and try to limit pesticides.

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