The Mantis vs. The Fly

Something I’ve noticed since I started blogging, is that I have a hard time focusing on just one subject at a time, which is probably why this is such a good exercise for me. But one story ties to the next, to the next, and so on. There’s always a connection to at least a couple of things.

One of my first summer observations I’ve made about my new house is that there seems to be an abundance of flies. It’s not like it’s a filthy neighborhood, or no one is cleaning up after their dogs, or anything like that. There is just notably a lot of flies. The problem with that is that like mosquitos, I can find no real use or need for them in nature. I haven’t had a second to look up what the nontoxic remedy for that is yet. Surely there is something I can grow or sprinkle on my property that will alleviate this issue, but in the meantime it is not something I generally think about until there are two or three of them flying around my house making me crazy. If only Bella, my serial killer dog, enjoyed catching flies!

Stay on the train. I’ll do my best to make this cohesive and logical.

On a completely different yet related note, I have been yanking out miles of formica off my kitchen walls. I’m guessing it was probably put there in the 70’s but the fact remains, it was in really rough shape and EVERYWHERE. Now, formica has come a long way and you can get stuff that looks like marble and all kinds of stuff, but I don’t think people really run it up walls anymore. So along with some debate about whether to paint some natural wood cabinets, I’ve been ripping this stuff out. The walls are out, the counter is still intact until I choose a new one, and the kitchen is put back together and functional again for a minute.

Another source of debate was the old exhaust fan over the stove. There was a place for these at one time, but it didn’t escape me that this one was probably original to the house and is not even centered on the wall. I had to have it ripped out, my OCD could not handle it. There’s a window on either side of the stove, so I seriously don’t anticipate suffering from smoke inhalation from cooking. I know people who have exhaust hoods or microwaves over their stoves that tell me they almost never use them. I never had one for over 16 years in my other house. I think I’ll survive without it. I don’t even remember the last time I cooked anything that generated so much smoke it required ventilation.

Stay on the train…one more stop.

Last night I came home from a very long day of working two jobs and having to make a few stops on my way home. I was greeted at my door by a praying mantis! For some reason, I always think these are good luck but really, it probably just means you have a lot of bugs for them to eat. I really wanted to take a picture of it, but it was so dark outside and I had two dogs barking their heads off to be let out. I decided to name him Bowie, as in David Bowie, because, well, the similarities were ironic to me.

Over the course of the evening, and examining my kitchen, I started to pat myself on the back for getting rid of that kitchen fan because I noticed I no longer have flies getting in my house. That must be where they were coming from! The fan! Since it has been blocked off, no more flies.

I told my boyfriend about it, then told him about the praying mantis on my front door. He told me they kill their mates, like black widow spiders do. I had no idea! I did 5 minutes of research, and found out these things take down BIRDS and eat their brains! Wow! I had no idea! It’s tough for me to visualize an insect taking down a bird. Apparently they only eat live insects too.

Then…..the epiphany. Not only were the flies no longer getting in my house, I wasn’t noticing them on my property like I used to. I think the praying mantis must be eating them! I’m so happy! I want this weirdo creature to live in my flower bed so it can keep eating them and every other creepy crawly thing that tries to come inside.

There’s a place for bugs in nature. There’s no place for them in my house. Rock on Bowie. Live long and prosper. I hope you raise generations of strange, violent creatures in my front yard if it keeps the critters under control. But please don’t eat bird brains in my yard, it’s bad enough that Bella kills them for sport.

In the case of the mantis vs. the fly, mantis rules.

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