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Using The Praying Mantis For Organic Pest Control

Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis

The praying mantis is an oddity with their large size and ability to turn their head 180 degrees. However, this odd little creature just might be an organic gardener’s best friend. For those who dread the thought of chemical pest control the praying mantis may just be a savior. What better form of organic pest control could there be? The praying mantises are effective at controlling problematic bugs and worms that can destroy a garden. They are great for both ornamental and vegetable gardens.

They are one of the few nocturnal predators capable of catching and eating moths. The moth itself isn’t a problem; it is their larvae that can destroy plants. In fact, these destructive larvae can destroy whole plants in a matter of days.

Rest assured, there is no need to worry about the larvae from a praying mantis as their young, called nymphs, are born already formed-no larvae stage. Best of all from a gardeners standpoint, moments after emerging the little nymphs are hungry and start hunting for prey to appease their hunger.

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 organic gardener needs to take care when pruning or cleaning up the garden in the fall so they do not unintentionally destroy any praying mantis eggs. Female mantises mate in the late summer and will lay her eggs in the fall. This is typically near the end of the female’s life cycle.

The female will generally deposit her eggs on a branch or twig but occasionally leaves them on walls, fences or under eaves. They are ensconced in a frothy liquid, termed ootheca, which will harden into an egg case about the size of a pencil and approximately an inch long.

Again, it is important that the organic gardener recognize the egg cases so they don’t inadvertently destroy them. They are most visible in the winter when trees and shrubs lose their leaves. Any of the cases found should be set aside and protected in a safe part of the garden if they must be moved. They should never be placed directly on the ground as ants find them to be a treat and will quickly consume them.

The young nymphs are only about the size of a small ant when they emerge but they are hungry little bugs. They will immediately begin assailing and eating leaf hoppers, gnats, aphids and other small insects.

An organic gardener knows that their garden relies on the delicate balance of predator and prey to keep unwanted pests at bay. Using the praying mantis is one of the most efficient and safest forms of organic pest control available.

The Joys Of Owning A Chinese Praying Mantis

If you are interested in a praying mantis for sale, or thinking of being an owner, then this article will be beneficial to you. First, think of owning your mantis for organic pest control. If you are deploying broad spectrum chemicals on your property, you won’t find one as Chinese Praying Mantis only are happy in environments that are free of chemicals.

But using the Chinese Praying Mantis for organic pest control is common. People often buy large supplies of nymphs each spring and place them in their garden. Ferocious predators, they work for you all their life of maybe a year, serving you well.

As a praying mantis pet, they are a good addition to your family. They reach about five inches long with colors ranging from pale green or tan with a distinct line of green running down its body. Blessed with a head shaped as a triangle that swivels, it is a superior hunter, as it will track without moving. Fascinating to watch, any insect that flies or creeps slowly past makes a yummy meal.

Harmless to humans, they can at times not be kind to each other. The praying mantis life cycle is interesting. Often after mating the female will eat the male to help feed the praying mantis eggs as well as nutrition to the mother. The sexual cannibalism is common. Mating usually begins in the fall. On the average, four hundred eggs are developed in a foamy mass that hardens into a capsule that can hang on a tree, placed on the ground, or any flat surface. Sometimes the mother will stand guard.

Watching for not hatchings of praying mantis are fun. Gather an egg case and find a brown bag of paper. Fasten it closed with a wooden clothes pin or a paper clip. Put the bag in a safe place in a warm sunny place. Check the bag on a periodic schedule and if you see babies, gently tag their home outside and place every few all over your property. You may have to wait for hatchings to appear in eight weeks so patience in this case is a future.

The three stages of the praying mantis life cycle are egg, then the baby nymph, and then swift growth to adult. Nymphs are without wings or genitals that function.

If you purchase a praying mantis as a pet, they adapt to the presence of humans and will become friends and low you to hold them by perching on your hand and often taking feedings from you. They are easy to care for but remember they must live alone. An exoskeleton is present and molting does occur as the mantis grows. In warmer climates, mantises live ten to twelve months. Cold climates are not kind to both male and female. Those mantises in captivity tend to live a few more months.

An interesting side note: Several martial arts moves and strategies have been developed in northern China, which are patterned after the Chinese Praying Mantis. In recent decades, popularity for these martial arts has increased in North America.

Praying Mantis Army Defends And Protects My Backyard Garden From Pests!

As young Boy Scouts growing up in the Carolina outdoors, we were fascinated with all of the animals, insects and other “critters” we could find in the woods and swamps of the Piedmont. But the praying mantis was always among our most sought-after finds – any large, voracious predatory beast like the praying mantis that would attack and eat lesser insects are always of tremendous interest to young boys, and having praying mantis pets in the home terrarium would make any boy the boss of his neighborhood.

I never captured one until many years later, on a late night fuel stop deep in the tobacco road region of South Carolina when my dream of having a pet praying mantis finally came true – a magnificent 5” specimen landed right on top of my car hood as I sleepily filled my tank. Moving slowly and deliberately as not to startle him into flying off, I managed to throw a pillow case over him and captured my trophy-sized Carolina Praying Mantis at last!

Once I got home and put him in a hastily-prepared terrarium made from an old fish tank, I immediately set out to learn every praying mantis fact I could find – learning how to feed and care for them, all about praying mantis life cycles, breeding, praying mantis eggs, etc – everything I could find in my encyclopedias and online. It was only then that I learned their tremendous potential for organic pest control that would allow me to convert my entire backyard garden to this natural pest control method – the Praying Mantis was the ruthless bug killer that would finally save my grape vines from the nasty little grub worms that had stripped entire stalks of leaves overnight!

As my two young sons captured and fed all sorts of bugs to “Attila”, our beloved 5” praying mantis pet, I excitedly ordered praying mantis eggs for our extensive back yard garden. The pods arrived in perfect condition, and I just placed them among the cornstalks, bean poles, grape vines and tomato cages in my raised square foot garden plots and left them to nature. Not long afterward, the pods just emptied themselves naturally, unleashing an army of hungry praying mantis predators to execute the preventative and natural pest control I wanted for my family’s vegetable garden.

Knowing that this little army of bug-eaters were hard at work, I warily skipped my yearly application of chemical pest control products, and hopefully crossed my fingers. Amazingly, while this brigade of aggressive pest predators still remained very difficult to spot at work in my garden, the entire crop thrived and produced the first worm-free corn stalks, grape vines, and healthy, uninjured vegetable plants in my entire gardening history! The Praying Mantis army had conquered and devoured pretty much every pest in my garden!

Praying Mantises As Bug Killers

Praying Mantises can be found for sale in many easy and convenient ways now. You can find them online on popular sites such as Amazon and eBay as adults or in egg cases. Adult mantises tend to run more expensive, while egg cases can be purchased in bulk. Cases are typically sold in sets of 5, with each case yielding 200-2,000 babies. These can be purchased for $17.99 to $35.00, but smaller lots of 3 can go for less than $10.00. Garden stores, such as big name chains Home Depot and Lowe’s, can sell tens of thousands of mantis egg cases each year. They are typically available January through April as mantises lay eggs in the spring and these cases need to be stored at low temperature to simulate the hibernation cycle.

If you’re wondering why these would be so widely available you’re asking the right question. There are many reasons why one might want purchase a Praying Mantis or mantis eggs, but one of the most beneficial reasons to have a Praying Mantis around is because of its inherent ability to keep away unwanted bugs. Many gardeners, who believe in an organic approach to gardening, work to avoid using pesticides and one way they do this by using mantises as a biological pest control. Each case contains about 200 eggs and covers about 6,500 square feet. At less than $10 a case this is a very affordable and environmentally free way to protect your garden.

Praying Mantises are natural predators to many types of bugs that plague gardens and yards. This includes: Japanese Beetles, the culprits that eat your beautiful roses, moths, whose larvae can destroy entire plants over the course of just a few days, grasshoppers, stink bugs, flies, aphids, and insects. Praying Mantises are predatory in nature but harmless to humans; therefore making a great natural remedy for unwanted pests in your yard or gardens. Praying mantises will be the gift that keeps on giving as you can look for your current praying mantis to lay egg sacks which you can take care of during the hibernation period in order to have more for the next season.

If you are a creative gardener who loves to promote and observe nature being nature than the use of praying mantises in your garden is the perfect option for you. These natural predators will create a welcomed balance in your garden oasis and will have all your neighbors asking what your secret is. You can sleep soundly knowing that you are not pouring any harmful chemicals into Mother Earth and are still able to produce plants and flowers of great size and beauty. Tap into this natural remedy today in order to produce the results that you are looking for.

Praying Mantises – An Amazing Form Of Preventative Pest Control

Insects and small reptiles can be a pest to people both in the yard and in the home. You may be tempted to spray your home with pesticides in hopes of keeping these pests at bay. However these chemicals only temporarily solve the problem. By putting your praying mantises in your yard you will be putting natural pest control in your yard that will lower the number of insects you see.

The praying mantis eats a diet that primarily consists of the meat from smaller insects and in some cases rodents and lizards. Since they don’t eat plants they pose no threat to plants in your yard or in your garden. When you put praying mantises in your yard you do not have to worry about them consuming your precious plants.

When looking for praying mantises you should strongly consider buying praying mantis eggs. An egg pouch can provide you with hundreds of praying mantises. The praying mantis life cycle is fairly short (about a year) and a single praying mantis will not be an effective enough bug killer but by using an egg pouch you will guarantee that you have enough praying mantises to deal with any pest problem you may be having and you these praying mantises will breed and provide you with future generations of bug killers.

One species of praying mantis to consider would be the Chinese praying mantis. This variety has been in the United States for over a hundred years as a form of organic pest control and there are no concerns that it may develop into an invasive species. This variety is very easy to take care of and if you put it in an environment with a large amount of pests the population should essentially take care of itself.

If you have young children in your household or visiting you may want to talk to them about the praying mantises in your yard. Children are often scared of insects and may harm the insect out of fear. By explaining that the praying mantis is a form of preventative pest control you will be able to teach them about the food chain and about the life cycle. What could have been a scary experience can become an educational one. One educational fact people may find interesting is that female praying mantises eat their mates soon after mating. They may also be interested to learn that praying mantises do not eat plants and only eat insects.

Praying mantises are an amazing form of natural pest control that will keep the pests in your yard and garden under control. Hopefully by having praying mantises in your yard you will also have a reduction in the amount of pests you see in your house as well.

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 – 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.

Self-sufficient

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.

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.