The lovely and effulgent myfeetshowit pointed out that the arrest scene in the Giant Bugs story didn't feel quite organic. The cop does kind of come out of left field, but I really needed her to be arrested.
I have solved that problem. The first scene has been rewritten (again!) so that she actually finds the mantis in the yard, eating her dog. The cop who arrests her at the end of the story is introduced there at the beginning--as the neighbor who helps her bury the dog.
ETA: And it's gone from a rather anemic wordcount of 2800 to a robust 4000, with the new scenes. Amazing how that works.