MAY 28, 2010
Thank you everyone who helped identify the bugs that are feasting on my lilies...I spent a good half hour last night holding a flashlight and picking the beatles out of the succulent lily leaves and crushing them (a solution presented to me via the world wide web). Imagine my frustration and disappointment when I found more of those bugs hanging off of the leaves this morning. That's it.....this is war!
I went to a reputable nursery in Georgetown this evening and spoke with the resident bug expert. When I explained to him my dilema and showed him a photo of the bastards, he led me to the bug killer aisle and explained all the different sprays, liquids and powders available. I'm concerned about accidentally harming neighbourhood animals with these solutions and was looking for something a little more "green" and easy to use. While all were "environmentally friendly", he presented me with one more option that peaked my interest. As he opened the fridge door, he handed me a bright, child's toy -like container. It was a praying mantis' cocoon. I was confused.....add MORE bugs into the garden? Mr. Garden Expert explained that Praying Mantises are exclusively predatory. Insects form the primary diet, but larger species have been known to prey on small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, fish and even rodents; they will prey upon any species small enough to successfully capture and devour. Most species of mantis are known to engage in cannibalism. The majority of mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed. Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly. Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs. He instructed me to leave the "cage" in the sun and within a few days, hundreds of praying mantis are hatched. All I need to do is release them and nature will take it's course.
At this point, what's the harm in trying. It sure beats standing outside in my jammies in the middle of the night, shining a flashlight into the garden and picking and crushing bugs......wish me luck............