The Life Cycle And Benefits Of The Predatory Praying Mantis: Gardener And Pet

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

The praying mantis is by no means an ordinary insect. Their many beneficial abilities are why people can find praying mantis for sale. Many times they are used as a means of organic pest control because of their natural pest control abilities. They prey on almost every other type of insect but do not harm vegetation. Praying mantis has a typical life cycle of six months to an entire year, which gives them an adequate amount of time to be utilized as preventative pest control in areas of any size from small gardens to large organic farming operations.

They are not exclusively left free to devour insects in the garden. Some people keep praying mantis as pets. If anyone purchases praying mantis they are making a good investment because just before winter the females lay anywhere from one hundred to four hundred eggs in a weatherproof sac. This is the first stage in the praying mantis life cycle.

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

During the next stage of life, after hatching, the praying mantises exist as nymphs. They are very small and eat other small insects. Many changes take place during this stage as they grow. A lot of the nymphs will make it to the next stage, adolescence.

By summer time, praying mantises have grown into adulthood and are great and stealth predators. There are praying mantis facts available to research on many interesting websites such as National Geographic’s Praying Mantis website and other sites that are dedicated to these insects that act as natural pesticides.

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

There is no other bug killer as effective when it comes to keeping other insects at bay. That is why the Chinese Praying Mantis was intentionally brought to North America as a means of pest control as early as the 19th Century. They not only feed on insects but have been observed preying on other small creatures that can be detrimental to vegetation.

The female praying mantises are especially interesting because they grow bigger than the males of the species. In most species of any animal or insect the males are usually bigger. The part of the life cycle in which the praying mantis breeds (during the end of summer) is a strange twist in conventional mating processes because the female devours the male when she has achieved her breeding mission.

Because of the long and interesting life cycle of praying mantises, they are an asset to any garden or farming operation and are a great financial help as they save vegetation from otherwise detrimental damage by other insects. They also make interesting pets because the owner can feed the praying mantis various types of bugs and small creatures and watch in amazement at how stealthily the praying mantis hunts and eats its prey.

Praying Mantis Eggs; The Chinese Mantis And How To Care For Its Eggs

Mantis ootheca on fence in Cala de Mijas, Spain
Mantis ootheca on fence in Cala de Mijas, Spain

There are well over two thousand four hundred species of mantis, but the one most people commonly agree is the best kind of mantis to raise, for those whom have never raised them before is the Chinese mantis. It is the largest species of mantis in Northern America and also a very excellent source of natural pest control. Praying mantis are for sale at many different kind of pet shops and can even be ordered in from other countrys (for those die-hard mantis fanatics).


The Chinese mantis, like most other kind of mantis, lay their eggs in a hardened, temperature protecting case, called a ootheca, egg sack or egg case. When first produced by the female the casing is soft but it soon dries and when it does it acts in much the same fashion as concrete. This hard casing protects the insects until they are ready to hatch, from both predators and the environment. Though all mantis lay eggs their egg casing differs markedly species to species in size, shape and color.

Caring for the Egg Case (ootheca)

When you have purchased a female mantis and she has laid her eggs you should not bother her. After about three to five days after she has laid her eggs, the casing will be hard enough to allow you to remove the ootheca. It is highly recommended that you remove the nymphs, not just because of temperature and environmental concerns which they require when hatching, but also because the female adult will likely eat all of the nymphs! Remember that the praying mantis is a cannibalistic species.

Japanese Mantis Ootheca
Japanese Mantis Ootheca

Once the ootheca has been removed place it a enclosure that is at least about 15 cm up and down and 8 cm side to side. There will be a lot of mantis babies so this makes sure there is enough room for all of them when they finally emerge. Also make sure that this container has a lot of ventilation so that the mantis babies don’t die from oxygen deprivation. If you are using something that does not feature mesh or similar material try punching holes in the material but make sure that they are very small or else the mantis hatchlings may swarm your home!

Container with Praying Mantis Eggs (Ootheca egg cases)
Container with Praying Mantis Eggs (Ootheca egg cases)

Place the ootheca on the lid on the inside of your enclosure and make sure you place it with the same orientation that the female did previously. The egg sack can be secured with tape. If you use tape make sure that none of the adhesive is exposing or it will trap and kill any hatchlings that are unfortunate enough to walk across it. A needle or similar item may also be used if you know where the eggs are and are not, this is generally the tip of the ootheca.

Nymph Mantises Hatching from Praying Mantis Ootheca

When the eggs are ready to hatch ensure that you keep both the humidity and temperature at the appropriate level for your species. Use a substrate at the bottom of your insect enclosure to ensure high humidity.


Praying Mantis – Natural Pesticide

There are so many chemicals that we get exposed to every day. It is in our food, our energy systems, our air, and even in our pesticides. Have you considered natural pesticides to reduce the insect elements in your flower or vegetable garden? Organic pest controls are the safe and chemical-free alternative. How about some insect on insect warfare? Praying mantis insects are a natural pest control agent. They are interesting for children to observe and study as well as being very effective insect repellents and a natural form of preventative pest control.

What can Praying Mantis Pets do?

Mantis species, like the Chinese praying mantis, are voracious eaters. They seem to eat all the time! This makes them very effective in reducing the damaging insect populations around your gardens. Many garden shops provide customers with praying mantis for sale. The natural, and chemical free bug killer, the mantis, will quickly deplete the insects that you do not want in your garden.


The praying mantis is a self-sufficient insect, too. The female praying mantis is definitely an asset because she will lay eggs. Praying mantis eggs hold around 100 to 400 eggs each. This population of mantis babies, when hatched, will begin eating right away, and start with the very small aphids and other vegetation eating insects. One egg case will support around 1600 square feet.

Praying Mantis Life Cycle

The praying mantis lives a long time, around six months from hatching to the end of their life. They are natural hunters that begin eating from the moment they emerge from their egg cases. The life cycle begins with eggs that are fertilized just before the winter. Their gestation period is about four months, emerging and ready to eliminate their insect foes.

When they first leave the security of their egg sacks they actually have more opportunity to eat each other. Praying mantis nymphs are actually weeding out the weaker of their species in this way because the strongest hunters will succeed and will progress on to adolescence. As a teenage mantis they will shed their skin to allow for growth to their full 1 to 6 inch adult length.

Since a mantis has a long life cycle, they are effective hunters for a complete season of planting. They can protect your flowers as well as your vegetables. They are not discriminatory, and will eat any insect pest that ventures into its domain. Since they reproduce in the late fall, once a person has purchased praying mantis eggs, they will likely have a lifetime supply through natural reproduction. Each year the garden should be equally protected as the population of mantis is maintained by food supply.

Praying mantis can be bought as adults in the spring, or as egg cases in the wintertime. Regardless of whether insects or their unborn offspring are purchased, this natural pesticide will keep your garden free of chemicals that may be harmful to yourself and your family as well as the environment. They are interesting and attractive to look at and they self-maintain through their own voracious appetites.

How To Raise A Pet Praying Mantis

A praying mantis as a pet can make a unique and delightful pet. These unusual creatures will give hours of pleasure to its owner. However, proper care must be taken to keep your praying mantis strong and healthy.

Your praying mantis will need an enclosure that is at least three times longer than the body length and two times wider than the body width. This will allow plenty of room for the praying mantis to walk around and shed its exoskeleton (outer shell) when necessary. A good rule of thumb is to use a container that is at least 6 X 6 in diameter.

The container should be well ventilated. Mesh or screen is a great option to use for the sides. Also make sure the container has a secure lid as the praying mantis is smart and will sense an escape route.

Next, fill the enclosure with appropriate substances for your pet praying mantis. Start with something on the bottom to hold water such as tissue paper, shredded wood, bark or sand. The purpose of this is to keep the humidity somewhat constant. Every praying mantis requires a specific temperature and humidity to survive. It is advisable to speak with someone at a pet store or look online for your specific species.

A quick praying mantis fact: there are over 2000 species of praying mantis!

Add branches and other items your pet praying mantis can climb or sit on. Make sure to choose objects that are safe and that there is plenty of room to move between the objects. A living plant is a good option if there is room for it.

Unlike pets such as a dog or cat, your pet praying mantis does not need to eat every day. A typical feeding schedule is one to four days depending on the species, the type of food you are providing and where it is in its life cycle.

There are three stages to the praying mantis life cycle; the egg stage, nymph stage and adult stage. The life span of an adult praying mantis is typically six months.

The praying mantis eats only live insects for food. A nymph will require smaller bugs such as aphids, micro crickets, gnats and fruit flies to name a few. For a molting mantis serve up larger sized bugs though not those that a full grown adult would eat. During the adult stage your praying mantis can eat butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, houseflies and other insects. An adult female praying mantis will typically eat more than an adult male.

To make sure your pet praying mantis is eating the food you bring it, you may want to watch until it catches the prey or offer it with a tweezers directly to the mantis. Otherwise, if the bugs hide or escape your praying mantis could end up starving.

The praying mantis is small, producing little waste so its enclosure will need infrequent cleaning. However, be sure to remove partially eaten prey so they don’t start to rot and smell. When cleaning the enclosure simply remove the bottom absorbent and use hot water to wipe. Do not use detergent or other chemicals as this may harm your pet praying mantis. Once the enclosure is dry simply add fresh absorbent material in the bottom and replace twigs, plants and other items and its done!

Keeping A Praying Mantis For Your Yard Or As A Pet

Pet Praying Mantis
Pet Praying Mantis

When you first see the term praying mantis for sale you may be a little freaked out but rest assured that praying mantises’ make wonderful pets. While having a praying mantis as a pet may not seem normal the praying mantis provides great benefits in the form of pest control.

Having a praying mantis will provide you with organic pest control. Most praying mantises’ are exclusively carnivores. They almost exclusively eat other insects. As they get larger they may eat other household pests such as scorpions, lizards, or even rodents. While having a praying mantis in your yard will not necessarily get rid of all the pests in your house or yard but it will reduce the number of pests you see. This feature is especially useful if you have a garden. The praying mantis is a carnivore so you don’t have to worry about it eating your vegetables but you do have to worry about the insects that it would eat consuming your vegetables. The praying mantis will eat those insects and thus your garden will get healthier. Having praying mantis in your yard is a wonderful form of preventive pest control that will reduce your reliance on insecticides.

You may be so taken in by the praying mantises you have in your yard that you want to keep one as a pet. Praying mantises can be kept as pets and are a wonderful option if you don’t like animals with hair, are allergic to pet hair, or simply want to have a new and exciting pet. They are harmless to humans so you don’t have to worry about the praying mantis hurting you or your child. You will need an enclosure with holes at the top and grass and dirt make a perfect carpet for your praying mantis to hang out on. If you have more than one you should keep them in separate enclosures as they may want to fight each other and you do not want to wake up to a dead praying mantis and another praying mantis that is injured. The praying mantis has a relatively short lifespan so you may want to start with an egg sack. When the eggs hatch you can keep one praying mantis in your yard and release the rest of them into your yard to prevent other insects from taking over your yard. One variety to look into is the Chinese praying mantis. It has been in North America since the eighties and will not have a detrimental effect on the native area other than the reduction of insects in your yard. Overall the praying mantis makes a wonderful pet.

Overall while it may seem strange at first a praying mantis is an amazing addition to a yard or home. In a yard they act as preventative and organic pest control by eating all of the other insects that may be damaging your lawn or sneaking into your house. As a pet they make an interesting and exotic pet that you are easy to take care of.


More Mantis Facts

Nymph Praying Mantises
Hatching Nymph Praying Mantises

When praying mantis eggs hatch, they do not produce larvae. Under the right conditions, young praying mantis is born as a nymph, fully formed. When it comes out of the shell, it is ravenous and begins searching for hapless prey. If it is in your home and you are trying to fight a roach problem, it will find them and eat them up.

You will want to watch for the tiny eggs that are smaller than grains of rice, so you can protect them. A female praying mantis will mate towards the end of summer. The fact that she will sometimes eat her mate is not a myth, but often, the male praying mantis will escape with his head intact. The female will then lay her eggs in the fall before the frost brings her death. You may find the eggs on branches, leaves, walls, under eaves, or along fences. A frothy “goo” called ootheca hardens to make the egg casing. It will be somewhere around ¼ to ½ inch long, about the size of a multivitamin.

Your baby nymphs will hatch in the spring, when insects are beginning to enter your home or garden and cause distress.

A praying mantis, or better yet, several praying mantises are one of the best forms of organic pest control available. If you can handle having an insect as a pet, they make excellent companions indoors, decimating your troublesome insect population. They may not be cuddly and soft, but they are quiet and very busy. You will not regret having a praying mantis nearby for your preventive pest control.

How A Praying Mantis Provides Preventive Pest Control

preventive pest control mantis

Throughout the year, there are several months when pests, both in the home and in the garden, disrupt your life. Your first instinct is to stock up on aerosol bug spray, boric acid powder, or other chemical products. Depending on the nature of the pests and the level of infestation, you may also call an exterminator.

The problem is, many chemical products used to rid yourself of your tiny, annoying friends also affect the health of people and animals living in the home. It can affect your breathing and cause irritation to your skin and eyes. In fact, in extreme instances, insecticides have been known to cause serious allergic reactions that can lead to death.

The trick is to find a way to instill natural pest control in your home without flooding it with unwanted chemicals. One way people have found to do this involves bringing insects into the home. This is an interesting ploy, but it makes sense. A pet praying mantis will eat many of the most problematic pests that invade your home. If you have one in the garden, it will eat grasshoppers and beetles. At night, they will get rid of moths whose larvae tend to destroy plants over a period of a few days. The best reason, though, to have a praying mantis? They devour roaches.

Innovative Natural Pest Control Solutions – The Praying Mantis Patrol

praying mantis from India
Praying Mantis from India

Perhaps they should have been called “preying” mantises. Although they are named for the way their forelegs resemble a supplicant in prayer, praying mantises sit atop the insect food chain. For this reason, these carnivorous insects offer effective, natural pest control for the home gardener. Praying mantises are also readily available – they can be found for sale online or at home-and-garden stores.

While chemical pesticides can adversely affect both home gardeners and the life-giving soil in which they plant, praying mantises provide organic pest control that works. In addition to targeting troublesome leaf-eating insects such as grasshoppers and beetles, praying mantises feed on aphids, cockroaches, flies, spiders, bees, and mosquitoes (among others). Basically, mantises will consume any smaller species of pest. So having a platoon of mantises on duty is like having a crack team of border agents on garden patrol.

Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis)
Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis)

On the other hand, chemical pesticides can harm humans, pets, wildlife, and the environment. A report from the National Academies linked exposure from pesticides to several types of cancer, nervous system disorders, and reproductive problems (including birth defects, stillbirths, and infertility). Pesticide exposure has also been shown to aggravate asthma and allergies, and children tend to be more susceptible to pesticides than adults. Moreover, pesticide leeching and runoff results in chemicals contaminating both groundwater and surface-water supplies, according to a study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia. As a result, these chemicals cause collateral damage to species they were never intended to target – including pets, birds, and fish.

One way to avoid chemical pesticides and set up a praying-mantis pest-control system is to raise the creatures at home. Because these exotic-looking insects are fascinating to observe and easy to maintain, praying mantises also make interesting pets. Prospective owners can either buy an adult praying mantis individually or purchase a praying mantis egg sack (called an ootheca). Each ootheca contains between 100 and 400 eggs (enough to safeguard almost any home garden). The life cycle for a Chinese praying mantis – one of the most popular among the 1,800 species – typically spans about one year.

Tenodera aridifolia sinensis adult female
Tenodera aridifolia sinensis adult female

In terms of habitats, praying mantises in captivity need a space at least three to four times as big as they are. Mantis enclosures should have holes in the top and be cross-ventilated. Because mantises in the wild are camouflaged to match their environment, their enclosures should include dirt, grasses, sticks, and leaves accordingly. Enclosures should also be kept warm and humid – daily misting of the area with water will help to achieve the appropriate conditions.

Praying Mantis Tenodera sinensis
Praying Mantis Tenodera sinensis

Whether they are to be kept as pets or for pests – or both – praying mantises are a captivating lot. In the world of natural pest control, these monkish creatures have few peers. To learn more praying-mantis facts, or to start a collection, look online or visit a home-and-garden store.

Protect Your Gardens With A Natural Alternative

Lady Bugs
Lady Bugs in the Garden

There is no joy in life as simple as tending your own patch of earth. Gardening is a prominent and worthwhile endeavor that is gaining popularity these days among just about every type of person imaginable. Whether you are tending a roof top garden, or planting your own food supply, or tending an herb garden, or raising roses, nothing ruins a good time more than pests eating your hard work.

It does not matter if you are growing flowers or food, or herbs or vines people think the only recourse towards protecting your gardens is dumping harsh chemicals on them. This may not be a huge problem when it comes to flowers, but what about the food you are trying to pull out of the ground? What about the bees that collect pollen from your flowers?

Pesticides can have a huge impact on you and the environment and they may not be a good solution for you. Luckily people are pioneering more natural and organic pest control these days. Natural pest control is growing more popular as people grow distasteful of the harmful chemicals in pesticides. To this end garden stores have begun carrying praying mantis for sale.

List Price: $4.25 USD
New From: $4.25 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Mantis’ have a mystical and mysterious quality all over the world. In Africa they are worshiped as gods. In Europe they are seen as good omens and seekers of knowledge. In South American they are told tales of a giant killer mantis; they steal away with children in the night. The stories about them are endless but they have some practical and real world benefits as well as natural pesticides.

Here are some Praying Mantis facts for you to think about while shopping for a natural pesticide. The Praying Mantis life cycle begins when the praying mantis eggs hatch. These larvae, called nymphs, have huge appetites. They roam eating aphids by the thousands, and any other insect they can get their hands on.

Male Tenodera Sinensis
Male Tenodera Sinensis

It is both a great way to manage pest control and be preventative pest control as well. These expert bug killers are a perfect, chemical free, environmentally sound way to control the insect population in your garden. The Chinese Mantis and the European Mantis is specifically bread for use in agriculture, and both species can be readily found and purchases.

It bears mentioning that the two species above as well as African and South American versions are highly sought after as praying mantis pets. There is a brisk trade on the exotic animal market for prime specimens of their kind.

Your garden is your sanctuary and the time you put into it is sacred. Why not do everything you can to protect it and see it flourish. Praying Mantis can help you achieve your gardening goals in a safe and natural way.

Praying Mantis For Sale! Are You Ready For A Unique New Pet?!

Praying mantis for sale! Maybe it’s time to try a unique new pet! The praying mantis is a fascinating creature that can make a great choice as a pet. They are somewhat strange looking insects from their prominently bent front legs (which give them their name because they look like they are praying) to a head that can swivel around to look behind them. The praying mantis has to be one of the most unusual bugs and fun bugs to watch.

Keeping a praying mantis is pretty straightforward and can be a lot of fun. You’ll learn a lot about the daily habits of this insect just by observation.

There are three stages to the praying mantis life cycle; the egg stage, nymph stage and adult stage. The life span of an adult praying mantis is typically six months. As the praying mantis grows it molts (sheds) its hard exoskeleton. This can happen up to ten times during a summer.


If keeping the praying mantis as a pet you will want a well-ventilated box made of mesh or some other such material (6X6 should be a big enough size). The box should also have a secure top. Prepare the box for your praying mantis by supplying twigs and foliage, even a living plant for the mantis to climb. Coax the mantis into the box with a twig or your hand if you’re not squeamish.

Feeding the praying mantis depends on its stage in the life cycle. A nymph will require smaller bugs such as aphids, micro cricket, gnats and fruit flies to name a few. For a molting mantis serve up larger sized bugs though not those that an adult would eat. During the adult stage your praying mantis can eat butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, houseflies and other insects.

The praying mantis for sale can be great for use as organic and natural pest control. With two large eyes plus three simple eyes and a head that turns 180 degrees no prey is safe in their proximity.

Typically these insects are green or brown and able to camouflage themselves among the plants in which they live. They might lie in ambush to snare their unsuspecting prey or stalk their quarry quietly.

The praying mantis uses their front legs to snare moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies and other unfortunate insects that cross their paths. Their legs are also spiked which enables them to pin the insect in place.

The female praying mantis will sometimes eat her mate either during or after mating. However, this does not seem to deter the males from mating.

The female regularly lays hundreds of praying mantis eggs and the baby insects, called nymphs, look very much like miniature versions of their parents. They are usually born in the autumn months. She lays the eggs in a case called an ootheca. The young emerge from the case in the spring.

After reading all of these praying mantis facts you might be thinking a praying mantis could be a fun and educational insect to own. When you’re ready, we have a praying mantis for sale that’s ready to come to your house!