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Growing Butterflies Since 1969

Customer Service

  • The Insect Lore Guarantee

    Insect Lore is the Original Butterflies-By-Mail Company. We have been delivering the Magic of Metamorphosis to families and classrooms for almost 50 years! We take great pride in the quality of our educational products and the reliability of our Live Insect Kits. If you are receiving live insects, it is important that you track your order and remove the package from your mailbox promptly. Upon receipt, please inspect your shipment and notify us immediately of any damage or if you are dissatisfied with your purchase. If there is a problem, you must contact our Customer Service Department at or 1-800-LIVEBUG (1-800-548-3284) within 10 business days of receipt of your order.

    We hope you are delighted with your purchaseIf you are not satisified, you may return most items within 30 days of receipt for a replacement or refund. Live products are non-returnable, but each live insect order guarantees that a specific number of specimens will grow to full adulthood. Nature can be unpredictable and a hatch rate is not always 100%.  Therefore, for orders that include caterpillars, we guarantee that 3 out of 5 of the caterpillars will become healthy butterflies. For orders that include ladybugs, we guarantee that 5 of the ladybug larvae will become friendly ladybugs. If your live kit does not fulfill this guarantee, please contact us within 30 days of receipt of your live kit and we will send you a replacement. Insect Lore is not responsible for lost live insect vouchers.

  • Contact Us

    Please click the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of this screen under the 'Customer Service' link and fill in your information. Include your name, address, email address, phone number and your order number (if you have it). Insect Lore will respond within 1 business day. Or, you can speak to one of our friendly Customer Service Representatives by calling 1-800-LIVEBUG (1-800-548-3284). If you would like to fax an order, our fax number is 661-746-0334. For even faster service, live chat with us! Simply visit the Live Chat box icon in the upper right hand corner of this page. Office and Live Chat hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, PDT. Schools or institutions may also email their purchase orders to

  • Ordering

    Customers must be prepared to receive and raise their live insects. That’s why we provide three ordering options:

    • Shipped with live now. This is the ideal option when you are ready to receive and raise your live insects NOW.
    • Shipped with live with future ship date. You can choose this option if you know when you want your shipment of live insects to arrive in the future. When you check out, choose the future date you would like your product shipped up to one year in advance. This is the perfect option for teachers planning class projects. Please note that the future ship date you indicate will be the date your order departs from our warehouse.
    • Shipped with voucher to redeem later. If you are not sure when you will be prepared to receive your live shipment, this is the option for you. It allows you to make your plans and then redeem your voucher for your live insects when you are ready for them. This is a great option if you are planning to give a live kit as a gift. Please note that a shipping and handling fee is required when the voucher is redeemed.
  • Shipping

    At Insect Lore, the safety and well-being of your live specimens is of utmost importance. As you can imagine, shipping live insects adds an additional level of complexity to the shipping process. When your order includes live insects, Insect Lore always recommends that you choose 2nd Day Air as your shipping method. This will ensure that your special insects will arrive quickly, safely and comfortably. Plus, choosing faster shipping means you'll have more time to watch your insects grow and change! Please understand, preparing our live insects for shipment may take a day or two. We want them to be ready for their journey. If you are shipping to a P.O. Box, you cannot choose expedited shipping. Please choose Express Delivery if you are shipping to a P.O. Box.

    • Select a ship date that allows you to observe and enjoy the entire life cycle of your live insects. Plan for any school breaks, holidays or extended weekends that might interrupt your project. You must be prepared to watch over your caterpillars on a daily basis. Keep in mind that you will release your adult insects between 3 to 5 weeks after you receive your live shipment.
    • Ship your insects to an indoor address, if possible. It is best to have live shipments sent to a building, where temperatures are controlled, rather than to an outdoor mailbox, where temperatures may be extreme. 
    • Track your package online so you are prepared to receive them. You must be available to open the package containing your live insects immediately upon receipt. They will not survive in a hot mailbox or warehouse. Please do not leave live shipments unattended.
    • During extreme weather, it may be necessary to delay shipping our insects for their protection. Our insects travel all over the country. Even though it may be cool in your area, traveling through Arizona or Texas in the heat of the summer may be very dangerous for our insect friends. If you have an urgent need for your insects, please select expedited delivery. This should enable your insects to be shipped quickly enough to protect them from most extreme weather conditions.

    Shipping charges are based on the items in your order, your location and your preferred delivery method (express, 2 Day, etc.). Once you enter your order online, you will be given delivery options. Select your preferred delivery method and you will be given an instant quote before you finalize your order.

    If your order includes, live insects, please allow us 24 to 48 hours to ready them for their journey. Then, if you choose express shipping, please allow 2 to 3 days for delivery (Monday to Saturday). Expedited orders received by 1:00 p.m. EST/10:00 a.m. PST, Monday through Friday are shipped the same day and arrive within 2 business days. Please note: If you choose expedited shipping, weekends are not transit days. Choosing 1 or 2 day shipping means your shipment will arrive on a business day; Saturday and Sunday delivery is not available. Drop shipments may take up to 3 weeks. Due to import restrictions, Insect Lore cannot ship outside the Continental United States. We cannot ship live specimens to Puerto Rico, Hawaii or Mexico. We also cannot ship live product overseas.

    Orders shipped to California are subject to California Sales Tax.

    A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks

  • Track Your Order

    After you submit your order, you will receive your order number by email confirmation. Use this number when contacting us about your order. If your order has not arrived within the specified shipping time, please contact Insect Lore. Click the "Contact Us" link at the bottom left of your screen to notify us of your issue. Remember to include your name, address, email address, phone number and the order number (if you have it).

  • Update Your Account

    Have you moved? Do you have a new email address? Or do you work at a new school? Log in to Your Account now to update your information.

  • Customer Service FAQ

    Our most frequently asked customer service questions are answered here.