Praying Mantis

Bloom Bug Blog, Bloom Pest Control, Praying Mantis

Try to guess what bug this is, just based on the description: tall, bright green, with big eyes attached to a bigger head that rests on a long neck, and has folding arms with flat forelegs and pinscher like hands. No, this isn’t an alien from outer space, but a praying mantis from earth! The praying mantis is one of the most distinct looking bugs out there. While they look intimidating, they’re quite harmless to humans and are fierce defenders of gardens and flowers.

Insane Life Cycle of a Praying Mantis

The praying mantis has one of the most infamous mating rituals
of all the bugs; who haven’t heard of the original femme fatale that eats the male’s head after mating? This process usually happens around the autumn season, after the female has increased her food consumption in preparation to mate. A male will try to win her affection through courtship rituals involving a lot of dance, because who doesn’t like a man who’s light on his feet. Afterwards, he will hop on the back of the female and deposit his sperm into the end of her abdomen; then off with his head.

The female will usually deposit around 100 to 400 eggs in a secure structure called an ootheca; they hatch around 3 to 6 weeks after being deposited, usually right before winter.  In the spring, the eggs transition into the nymph stage and emerge from the ootheca (though some will stay to eat their siblings. GROSS). As soon as they leave, they start to hunt for small insects. Finally, in the summer they enter the adult stage. During this time, they grow at a steady pace, molting as much as 10x until the end of the summer when they reach their full size.

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Why Are Praying Mantis Good?

A fully grown praying mantis is a big enemy to bugs that endanger gardens and farms, particularly the aphid. Aphids are locust-like creatures that swarm through gardens and crops alike. While there are ways to get rid of aphids in a garden, the most effective way is to cultivate its natural predators, with the praying mantis being one of the most effective against them. Their elongated thorax gives them 360 degree motion of his head, making them able to see their food sources easier. Their hook ended forelegs also make it easier for them to catch and eat squirmy bugs.

As fearsome as they are to some bugs, praying mantises are very docile with humans; some even swear by keeping them as pets. Praying mantises are an example of beneficial bugs that are great to have around, especially if you have a thumb as green as they are.

Would you keep one as a pet?

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Look at that adorable face!

 

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider
Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone

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Lady Bug

Lady Bug, lady bug larve, pdx pest control, bloom pest control weekly bug blog

This, is a lady bug larvae

Isn’t it amazing how a lady bug, the adorable bug that we’ve all grown to know and love, came from this. Don’t let this scare you away though! Lady bugs can be very beneficial to your home! Take a look at what we have below to learn more!

Why Are Lady Bugs Good?

While ladybugs look sweet, they’re actually mighty hunters and begin as soon as they’re hatched. Their diet mainly consists of aphids, which are notorious plant ruining insects. Aphids are very similar to locusts in their tendency to swarm and eat everything. Combined with their ability to reproduce asexually and you have a great enemy to not just home gardeners, but farmers and their crops. When farmers discovered that the presence of ladybugs meant no more aphids, they were a welcomed addition to their lands.

ladybugs paid trans

Life Cycle of a Lady Bug

Ladybugs are beetles, specifically of the coleopteran order.  Their life cycle is most similar to a butterfly, consisting of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A mother ladybug likes to lay her eggs on the underside of leaves to protect them from predators, and keep them close to a food source for when they hatch. Once they hatch, they’re ready to eat and will look for other insects like mites and aphids. They come out looking like little gators, but after a few days, they start the molting process that goes on until they’re ready to find a safe place to sleep and undergo their metamorphosis. Ladybugs emerge a few days later, looking like the adorable pals we know.

Lady Bug Facts

Their unique shells aren’t attractive in the animal kingdom; they are viewed as a warning to predators to not snack on these guys because they don’t taste good (Yuck!). There are roughly 500 different kinds of ladybugs in the US, and 5000 different kinds worldwide. They don’t just run red; ladybugs can also be yellow, orange, gray, black, brown, and believe it or not, pink!

Ladybugs are a great example of how every creature, no matter how many legs they have, serves a purpose in the ecosystems. It’s an innate reaction to squish or find a way to get rid of insects, but there are a variety of beneficial ones like the ladybugs that are around to help. Next time you see one, thank it for keeping your plants safe and being so cute while doing it!

 

 

 

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider
Bloom Writer Leah Iannacone 

 

 

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