Monday, June 24, 2013

"We all need more bugs"

Or at least that is what Pooka told me at the end of May. You see she had a return to take back and asked, begged, and bargained with me to let her get this. Now since it was her own money, I had a lot less bargaining power and she had money left to spare. I did convince her to only get one bug kit at a time (she was trying to get this and some lady bugs). On the upside if this works, we can up the number of predator insects in the garden pretty quickly.

Oh look, more bugs
So she bought her own praying mantis kit. She was ecstatic.  We brought it home and realized if we didn't send off for the little eggs soon we wouldn't get them. The package said they only ship from January to June. Good to know. On May 30th I did the online order for the eggs and waited.

About 2 weeks later (due to a shipping oops), Pooka opened a small box that container 3 vials. One of praying mantis eggs (which can have 200 mantids in them), a vial of wingless flies to feed the mantids and a vial of food for the flies.

The bits of the bugs
 Now I don't remember signing on for flies, but apparently we need them to stay alive to feed to the mantids so they don't eat each other. I really don't feel like explaining cannibalism, so I decided to read the directions.
Dinner for the mantids
 It turns out you need to add water to the food and then give it a few minutes. After the minute or so is over, you transfer some of the flies from the vial of flies to the vial of food without letting them run away.
Making dinner
 We did okay, we got the 10-15 flies in the vial of food and hoped for the best. We did have a few escaping flies, but since we did the move outside, I figure they could become something's dinner. They are gross little suckers, so I will save you the up close and personal picture.
Lastly, Pooka had to set up their little house with a few sticks. We broke one of the bamboo sticks in half and placed it inside. Then the 2 egg sacks got placed in the house and Pooka got to "lightly mist" the eggs. Pooka thought this was a great job and it is her job now. Supposedly it can take up to 6-8 weeks for these guys to hatch, so I guess it will be a lot of watering and waiting, just like the rest of the garden.

Watering and waiting.

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