Tuesday, June 02, 2009
As I sat here, tonight, getting a few things done on my list, I heard a scratching noise. I asked my husband if it was raining - almost sounded like rain or light hail on the window. No, no rain. Could it be? I thought. I walked over to the little paper bag that has been sitting on our windowsill for over a month. I held it up to the light - and yes!
The praying mantis egg sac has erupted! Hundreds of tiny praying mantises crawling out of the sac. We were told they normally hatch in the morning and so the boys have been checking and re-checking daily - 11 PM is a surprise! I placed the bag into a half gallon canning jar, opening the paper as I did so that the insects could spread out a little. I covered the top with a few layers of silk and screwed on the ring. I hope that keeps them in until morning. The boys will be SO excited!
We were told that the mantis babes will eat anything and everything, including each other, so to get them outside quick. We must wait until morning for the boys to see them, and so that we can see to release them throughout our garden so that they can chomp on the bad bugs that may ruin our cabbage, cucumbers or squash. I hope they all make it until morning so that we can free them into their new home (and I hope they cannot chew through a few layers of a silk and wander the house as I sleep!). Should be a very exciting morning!
Update:: A made it downstairs before I did this morning, and I heard him SHRIEKING as he saw that the mantises were out in the jar. Very excited boys! We took them outside and put the insects on plants throughout the garden. G held a few. I picked some up and put them on leaves where I knew there had been insects.
We were told that of a few hundred that hatch, fewer than a hand full will reach maturity. Rough mantis world, out there. Hopefully enough of them will be happy eating bugs in our yard (they don't eat ladybugs, another beneficial insect).
Go, mantises, go!