Something’s Bugging Me

Did you know that for just $24 you can buy 1,000 baby praying mantises? I’m tempted.

My basement was a little damp last week. And by “a little damp” I mean I spent two days lugging buckets of water up the stairs and dumping them outside. If you’ve always wanted an indoor swimming pool, here’s what you’ll need [I’ll get to the praying mantises in a second]:
1. A torrential downpour that lasts six hours
2. A leaky rubble stone foundation
3. A sewer line clogged with tree roots
4. A water pipe that’s temporarily uncapped (in my case, due to an ongoing kitchen reno)

Yep…my house was deluged with rain. Water poured in through the basement walls. The sump pump sucked up the water but (since the sewer line was clogged) spewed it right back into the basement through the uncapped water pipe.

Now, one week later, the skies have cleared, the tree roots have been chopped out of the sewer line and the uncapped pipe has a pretty new hat.

The one remaining problem: My damp basement has turned into bug-a-palooza. I have hoards and hoards of flies. So many flies that even daily killing sprees aren’t making a dent.

And that’s where praying mantises come in. Turns out praying mantises love eating flies. Theoretically, for $24, I could buy enough of these nifty little insects to wipe out my entire basement fly colony.

My quandary? Praying mantises are kinda creepy. The proof:

*They’re possessed. Remember how, in the movie The Exorcist, that girl’s head spun right around so she could glare at the people behind her? Yeah, praying mantises can do that. And they’ve got five buggy little eyes, plus an ear on their bellies. You simply cannot sneak up on them.

*They’re freakishly fast. You know how hard it is to kill a fly, right? Well, scientists have measured the reaction speed of praying mantises (using whack-a-mole, I’m assuming) and found that these green globs of lightening are twice as fast as flies. Good luck catching one.

*They have a shady past. I used to think a praying mantis was just a grasshopper with a skinny neck and pointy chin. Not true. Praying mantises are actually close relatives of cockroaches—do you want that kind of riff raff in your home?

*They think you’re delicious. Praying mantises can grow 4” in length—that’s as long as a mouse. They also bite—hard—and they like to eat raw meat. Which, I should point out, is exactly what people are made of.

So, yes, I could clean out my fly infestation by getting 2,000 baby praying mantises shipped here. But then I’d end up with 2,000 mouse-sized, flesh-eating, head-spinning cockroach cousins looking for fresh meat.

I need another option. Perhaps I should start breeding toads.

11 thoughts on “Something’s Bugging Me

  1. AHAnto

    If yu have a friend with a lizard – preferably a bearded dragon – let it have the run of your basement for a day or so and your problem is solved. Just need to seal off any potential egress points or else you will be hunting that thing throughout your house – which can be unnerving, unless you’re a fan, wonderful critters, but not everybody’s cup of tea.

    1. Brenda Post author

      That’s such a clever idea! I suppose the only problem is that my house is basically a colander – holes EVERYWHERE. I’d probably find the thing on my pillow by the first night, LOL!

  2. Martha Orlando

    Good Lord, Brenda, it’s just one catastrophe after another! Hope you can resolve it without ordering those cock-roach related mantises; that does NOT sound like a viable solution.

    1. Brenda Post author

      Those praying mantises make me jumpy – you never know when they’ll lash out. I’m thinking I may have to buy a box full of fly swatters and start there!

  3. Cindy

    Oh my Lord. I’ve been keeping up with your kitchen reno and I was ready to down a bottle of wine just out of sympathy. Lol! But a flooded cellar and hoards of flies? Yuck! God bless you. I hope it’s over soon.

    1. Brenda Post author

      Thank you, Cindy – I hope so, too! Please feel free to drink that wine for me – then you can send good (and grapey) vibes 🙂

  4. Arnold Forsyth

    Praying Mantises could have their feelings hurt by you telling the world that they are related to the cockroach family. Just a word of caution.

    1. Brenda Post author

      I was bitten by a praying mantis last summer, so I have very little sympathy for them right now!!

  5. Barbara

    I probably shouldn’t say it, but I did laugh reading that. It’s not that you don’t have my sympathy – you do. It’s just so funny (so long as I don’t have to live at your house).
    I love Arnold’s comment (above).

  6. Dad

    I’d really appreciate it if you’d rinse out the pail I loaned you for bailing out the basement.

    We want nothing to do with your new friends!!!


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