Thursday, August 6, 2009

welcome visitor

After all of Amy and my's rants about the critters who are eating our gardens, I would like to introduce you to a friendly visitor.
Can you find him? Look hard, I promise there is a critter in the picture...
Alright, I'll pull in for the close up...

Still a little tricky to see, but there he (she?) is, a praying mantis hanging out on top of one of the paprika peppers. I think it might be a baby since the wings didn't seem fully developed. I say that this is a friendly visitor because some people actually PAY to have praying mantis eggs sent to them so they can release the critters into their garden, especially organic gardeners. No, this is not because organic gardeners are hippie nutcases who want bugs for pets (though in Asia and Africa apparently people do keep them as pets) it is because they are what are known as beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are things like lady bugs, praying mantises and dragon flies that enjoy eating garden pests such as aphids, white flies, mosquitoes and spider mites. Some beneficial insects are not terribly discerning and may eat non-pests and pests alike, but a lack of bugs is a risk I am willing to take. I would rather have to hand pollinate some of the plants than have them all die because a bug ate all the leaves!

1 comment:

karen said...

That is just so cool!!!