Wednesday, September 15, 2010

praying for a mantis.

Look who I found hanging out on the hummingbird feeder! The elusive praying mantis. Some say they are a gardener's dream for managing other plant pests. Plus, I'm one of those weirdos who think they are super cute with their little alien eyes and rotating heads. Apparently, the hummingbird feeder was leaking and the sugar water was attracting every ant for miles... enter the praying mantis for the all-you-can-eat ant buffet! :)

I brought him out to the garden with me and he climbed off the feeder somewhere around the mint and cucumbers. Though he'll have to work a tiny bit harder for his meals, I'm pretty sure he'll have enough food over there. Hopefully he will stay and help out with the remaining cucumber beetles and assassin bugs. Maybe "he" is even a "she" and more little mantises will start popping up.

Beneficial or harmful for the garden? It's true that the praying mantis does not discriminate. He'll eat a cucumber beetle or a beneficial lacewing, both are quite tasty for him. However, with a severe lack of beneficial bugs in the garden and an overgrowth of destructive ones, I'm happy to take my chances. Welcome home, Mr. (or Ms.) Mantis.

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