Saturday, January 7, 2012

Watch For This

When you're rose pruning this month watch for this! It's a praying mantis egg case. You'll want to keep it because praying mantis are good bugs that eat the bad bugs. But that's a whole other blog post. The egg case will be "glued" to a branch. And because praying mantis enjoy hanging out in roses, you might find one in your clippings. Don't throw it away! I take the clipped branch(home from a job) and tape it to a stake or branch where I can watch it. Sometimes it's difficult to tell an old egg case from a new one. The older ones are browner and if you look closely you might see little pinholes from where the babies hatched. New ones are whiteish. Baby mantis hatch in March or April in SoCal. I've only seen fresh babies once when I was super lucky. They'll be as tiny as an ant but fully formed and maybe 100 of them! There'll be little bits of debris hanging from the egg case. Then you'll know that you missed it.  Watch for them as they're fabulous!

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