Good Bugs

Along with fruits and veggies……. you can buy bugs at the Farmer's Market.

BUY BUGS??!! 

Of course, good bugs, you know like Ladybugs & Praying Mantis.

The ladybugs come in the standard package of several hundred.
The Praying Mantis, however, come in a small paper looking cocoon. They are stored cold to keep them dormant, and at room temperature it takes 2-8 weeks for them to hatch.

So into a quart mason jar they went. Covered with a paper towel and metal ring. On a bookshelf in a warm spot out of direct sunlight in the Eldest's room. And each day little eyes peered in to see if anything was stirring in the jar. Days passed. Week passed. The girls mostly lost interest after the third week…… and the cocoon lay forgotten by all but the Eldest. Each day he checked once and often twice for movement and kept the mama updated.

Cocoon
Miss Six with Cocoon
After 4 and a half weeks rolled by….. during dinner prep…… the following events happened….

"Oh my gosh, there everywhere….. they hatched!" yelled the Eldest.

The girls rush in to look and then the whole lot of them run from the bedroom into the kitchen talking so fast I can hardly understand a thing they're saying and holding the mason jar….. after confirming the lid was still intact (phew!)….. I joined in the excitement.

Hatchlings
The Hatchlings – photo by Daddo
"They're so small."

"There are hundreds of them!"

"Will they eat fire ants??"

"I think they're eating each other."

"They're starving, let them go free!!"

And so after a good picture was finally taken of the hatchlings….. thanks to Daddo's ingenious photography skills….. they were released. 

All eyes
all eyes on the little bugs – photo by Daddo


Release
careful release – photo by Daddo

Praying Mantis mostly eat ants and crickets (maybe grasshoppers too?). Miss Six has high hopes of them decimating the fire ant population in the backyard. We're hoping they'll help us with a few of the not-so-garden-friendly bugs that live in our backyard. And we'd really like to see one of these full grown in a few weeks. For some fun info about the Praying Mantis look here and here.

2 thoughts on “Good Bugs

  1. Fire ants? ugggh- I’ve had my share of fire ant encounters…remember as SOOON as you notice them, get them OFF OF YOU even if this means taking your pants off in your front yard (been there done that) b/c they bite all at once…they’re sneaky! and they HURT! and they’ll make you pretty sick if you get a good biting….Dad mowed over a mound of them in the lawn and his whole leg swelled up…owch..careful!!! hate those little buggers!!

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  2. Miss six hates them too….. she’s always asking “what can we do to kill them all?” ……… she got stung/bitten twice and now she goes out of her way to squish them. Pretty funny coming from my normally kind hearted wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly type of girl 🙂

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