Friday, January 23, 2009

Who needs a TV?

I’ve found a new way to kill time. At dusk the bugs come out and stay for the night, so I leave my windows and drapes open and lure them in with my light. At seven I usually have a handful of flies and moths, harmless insects just unable to stop flying around the light. Then at 7:30 or 8, the fun begins.
My collection of small bugs is usually enough to attract a large predatory bug who comes in and cleans up. Usually it is a praying mantis (who knew they could fly?), but I have had plenty that I’ve never seen before. Some are so freakishly outlandish I couldn’t begin to describe them. Brown, green, red, purple with two wings, four wings antenna longer than their bodies, pincers, claws, big eyes, they’re amazing.
Last night I had the most impressive one yet. He came in looking lost and hit the wall 4 or 5 times, but then he got to business. He ate 6 moths and all the flies in about 2 minutes, then landed and scrambled under my bed where I could hear him wreaking havoc on all the poor bugs that live there. He was about 6 cm long, brown with short wings and a huge head. By far the most impressive insectivore I have seen at work.
My hope is that once I lure them in, they stay for a while and help me keep things in check. I’ve got a few resident spiders and some lizards too, but they apparently could use a little help. My house really isn’t that bad now. If I keep clean the ants and cockroaches raid my neighbors instead. Occasionally a scorpion still shows up, but I am hoping that they will be out competed by the lizards soon. Whoever wins out, I definitely have a healthy ecosystem and endless entertainment watching the battles and feasting play out.
7 janvier 2009

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