All summer I wanted to purchase praying mantis eggs for the garden because I can't seem to get rid of the damn cucumber yellow beetles. But Mr. Wild Dingo refused. Being a bit discriminate against the mantids due to their alien looks and carnivorous habits, he claimed they would eat us. Imagine my delight when he found Pepin, the Praying Mantis, on the side of our garage and texted me a photo of him. (Yes, I was still in bed, thank you Lyme disease.) Nothing gets me out of bed faster than a cool bug. I found him right where Mr. Wild Dingo said he was, with his eye on a daddy long legs who was making a quick get-away. I decided the garage was no place for such a magnificent creature so I gave him a short flight in a Tupperware to my tomato plant on the other side of the garden. Though he had a window seat, there was no in-flight meal so he was a bit cranky on landing. The first thing he did after his short flight, was bathe himself. There's nothing like getting the ick off of you from a commercial flight. I watched him clean his antennae over and over. He finally decided the tomato plant was a lovely home and happily posed for me. Since then, Mr. Wild Dingo made his peace with the mantis species and even thinks Pepin is quite adorable. But now his argument against more mantids is that Pepin could be eaten by other mantids. Sigh. I think there are plenty of meals in my garden for Pepin and any new comers. Besides, nobody lives for ever and while I'm alive, I'd like to appreciate healthy plants. The Praying Mantis is the perfect tool for the job. This spring, 400 baby mantids will find a new home in our garden.
Yellow cucumber beetles: pack your bags!