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 over 50 years! We take great pride in the quality of our educational products and the reliability of our Live Insect Kits.  However when purchasing live insects please keep the following in mind:

--  Nature can be unpredictable and the hatch rate is not always 100%. 

--  We guarantee 3 out of 5 caterpillars will develop into adult butterflies.

--  We guarantee 5 out of 10-13 ladybug larvae will develop into adult ladybugs. 

PLEASE INSPECT YOUR LIVE SHIPMENT IMMEDIATELY and contact us at (or call us at 1-800-548-3284) within 10 business days of receipt if your item is damaged or defective. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING LIVE ORDERS: Expect your baby caterpillars to be small upon arrival. Also, they may be inactive as a result of their journey to you. Please give them at least 48 hours to adjust to their new home.  If you feel that there may be a problem with either your caterpillars or ladybugs, DO NOT THROW YOUR INSECTS AWAY. Instead, visit to visit our Help Center, chat with one of our friendly operators, or email us at It is likely that your larvae are just fine and simply need some time to acclimate.

LIVE PRODUCTS ARE NON-RETURNABLE. If your live order does not fulfill our guarantee, do not send the live shipment back to Insect Lore. Instead, please contact Insect Lore at within 30 days  of receipt of your purchase to request a replacement. A restocking fee will be applied to all live orders returned to Insect Lore.

For more information about our live kits, visit our Help Center. 


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

  • Shipped with Live. This is the ideal option when you are ready to receive and raise your live insects now.
  • 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. Please note that a shipping and handling fee is required when the voucher is redeemed.
  • Shipped with a prepaid voucher to redeem later. If you are giving this item as a gift or simply want to take care of the shipping & handling of your order up front, this is the best option. The prepaid voucher means you are able to redeem on our website at your convenience.
Please be accurate when entering payment, billing and shipping information. Incorrect or missing information will hold up the shipping process, or could result in a misdirected shipment.


At Insect Lore, the safety and well-being of your insects is of utmost importance. Shipping live insects adds an additional level of complexity to the shipping process. Our goal is to get your insects to you as quickly as possible.

It may take 24 hours to process and prepare your live order and approximately 3 business days for your package to arrive. For the most accurate information, be sure to check your shipping confirmation email for your tracking number. Please remember that our shipping facilities are closed on the weekends and holidays.

If you have a special shipping request, we will be happy to accommodate you! Please call our Customer Service Team at 1-800-548-3284, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm PST.

  • 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 4 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.
  • Due to import restrictions, Insect Lore cannot ship outside the Continental United States. We cannot ship live insects specimens to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Canada or Mexico. We cannot ship live product overseas. 

Orders shipped to California are subject to California Sales Tax.

Insect Lore is not responsible for lost or stolen vouchers. A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks.

Track Your Order

After you submit your order, you will receive your order number and tracking instructions via email confirmation. Use this order number when contacting us about your order. If your order has not arrived within the specified shipping time, please contact Insect Lore ("Contact Us"). Remember to include your name, address, email address, phone number and the order number.

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Help Center

Our most frequently asked customer service questions are answered here.

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