Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's aliiiiive!!! They're hatching!!!!

Some of you may remember the Praying Mantis egg case that I got talked into purchasing a couple of weeks ago. Many weeks ago, actually. I was looking for a less noxious way of ridding my garden of pesky insects, like mosquitoes, caterpillars and grubs... My friend Bill at Sheridan Nurseries assured me that hatching 400 Praying Mantes, then letting them loose in amongst the plants, would be the answer to my prayers. Because, Praying Mantes are Insects With Serious Attitude, and all of the bugs that I hate the most... they love to eat.

Well, I took Bill's advice. I bought the egg, a deluxe bug case (the less deluxe one had holes that looked a little on the big side to me, and I'm not one to take chances), then we plonked it in the flowerbed, and waited.

I had actually given up on it, truth be known. After all, this thing has been taken to school for show'n'tell, shaken by curious toddlers, and drenchingly rained on. I was SURE that whatever life was inside it had expired... but was prepared to let it sit there, and let the garden grow over it all summer.

Well, this morning, I wandered out into the garden in my pjs and bathrobe, clutching a cup of coffee and the Sunday newspaper, hoping for a few moments of peace in the early sunshine... when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed MOVEMENT... creepy, crawly movement, right next to the egg case I had all but forgotten about.

I called to the girlies, and they whooped with delight. We spent a good hour or two sitting on the grass, watching them slowly crawl out the door of the bug case, and out into the wide world.

Let's hope they grow up strong and healthy and do their job well... Heaven knows, there's more than enough "food" around here to sustain them!!

Welcome to the world, my creepy little friends... Welcome.


Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Yeah! That's fun!!! There are so many of them. It gives me the eeby jeeby shivers a little bit, but you are so right--they'll get rid of the even worse eeby jeeby little guys!

Anonymous said...

More on worms!

Here are three worm farm sites in New Zealand. One of my 'farms' is the Can o Worms type which is by far the best and is easy to use having a small tap on the bottom tier which can drain the liquid easily.

The liquid is diluted 10 parts water to one of worm liquid and applied as a general garden fertilizer.

The worms are fed household scraps as I described in my blog.

Its a very satisfying way to help the environment! The farm does not have an offensive smell unless too much waste is fed when there are not enough worms to eat it all. They very quickly breed and within a few months reach a sustainable level.


Anonymous said...

I am fascinated with the idea of raising praying mantids! They will help control your garden bugs for sure. We have them by the million here! But then the Bay of Plenty is renown for its wonderful growing conditions and also its plentiful supply of garden pests. The praying mantis has lots of pesky bugs to feed on.

Will they survive the winter?

I wonder if they are the same as the ones we have here. They do look the same. They can sometimes be a bit of nuisance here as they love to come inside and lay their egg cases on the inside of the curtains. We end up with lots of little babies in the house!

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