Image: WJLA

The annual Christmastime practice of cutting down a live tree—dragging it indoors, laboriously propping it up in a living room amid a shower of fallen needles and curse words, only to haul it back outside two weeks later—is one that defies logic to begin with. If a bunch of praying mantis eggs happen to come along for the ride, well, weren’t you sort of asking for it?

Molly Kreuze learned the hard way that you really just can’t control what additional guests you’re inviting inside along with your tree. More than a hundred praying mantises—previously contained in an egg case under one of the trees’ branches—were birthed in her Springfield, Virginia home after she tossed the tree out. Aren’t they cute?

WJLA points out that while many people might vacuum the bugs or simply burn their home to ground, Kreuze has done no such thing. A veterinarian, she has instead been feeding them fruit flies (!) and hopes to hand them off to someone who actually wants them, like, on purpose. So far, she’s packed about 100 into a box.

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