We’ve recently had a variety of insect friends (or enemies?) come visit.

First there were the humping beetles on the grape vine. You just never know what you’re going to see in the garden. Just another example of how the garden can be used as an educational opportunity. I was amused with these amorous insects until I realized they were also eating and damaging the grapevine. Boo to you, humping beetles.

Then there was the mighty ladybug, in all her aphid-eating glory. A common but assuring sight in the garden.

I’ve also found several caterpillars hiding under fallen leaves in the garden. They’ve all been the same type, and so far I haven’t noticed any damage that they’ve done. But I am beginning to utilize my caterpillar-squishing authority (even thought I don’t like it) to preempt any attack.

And then we went grocery shopping. As we were checking out Charlie noticed a shopping cart tag-along who had apparently been riding with us the whole time. Why hello there, little praying mantis!

Knowing the store was not an ideal mantis living environment and much preferring it to live in the garden and eat some bad bugs (like the aforementioned humping beetles), we carried him home in a Starbucks cup and let him loose on the grapevine. Mantis vs. humping beetles, who will win?

4 Responses to “A bug’s life”

  1. Tim
    22 June 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Those are actually Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) and they are a bonafide MENACE. My grapevines and okra fill up with them pretty quickly when the hot days of summer approach and they can be very destructive. Fortunately, chickens love them and they provide a lot of protein and other nutrients for them.

    They do love to hump, though. :-)

  2. CoMo Homestead
    22 June 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    How interesting! Thanks for letting me know what they are. I’m not too concerned about the vines right now because they won’t bear fruit for another year or two, but now at least now I can look for some control measures if they become a serious problem.


  1. […] weeks ago I noticed Japanese beetles on our grape vine (thanks @Tim for identifying them for me). I didn’t think much of them, so […]

  2. […] We can’t help but think, was this little mantis the same one we brought home from the grocery store? […]