Praying Mantis

vicki_mildenstein(5)October 2, 2002


My daughter and I captured an unsuspecting praying mantis about a week ago. We took it to to school and to the preschool where I work.

Last night the mantis laid some eggs.

Does anyone know what I should do now?

We live in zone 5 so winter gets extemely cold so don't know if we can put bug and all back out. I know the female dies in the fall but read somewhere that they can lay many bunches of eggs and not just one. How long after eggs will the female die?

Any help is appreciated!



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arden_nj(z6 NJ)

Please, let her go on the bush where you found her if possible. She will lay more eggs. The egg sacks attach to a branch and dry. Praying Mantis' are very territorial. They seem to stay on the same few bushes where they were born, and where there parents were born.

If you put her back, and put her egg sack there as well, you will be able to see thousands of tiny praying mantis babies hatch in the spring. you can watch them grow, and since they don't roam you can begin to identify the different individuals. My kids name ours. If you are lucky by the end of summer you will have 3-4 adults that made it...then more eggs and the next year...more praying mantis.

My kids and I are watching our 4th generation lay eggs now, and it's a great experience for kids.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2002 at 5:18PM
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Even if you don't return it to where you found the mother, the egg sac definitely needs to go outside. Made that mistake ONCE when I was about 8. Mom did not apprediate 500 baby preying mantises in the Christmas tree.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2002 at 8:10PM
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For our children, one year we placed a praying mantis egg sac, branch and all, into a glass jar with panty hose wrapped around the top with a rubber band. We left it in the garage away from heat and light. Come Spring, we were sure to check it very regulary, several times a day. It was a wonderful site to see all those teeny tiny mantis babes one day crawling about in the jar! Again, its important to check the jar several times a day and as soon as our kids each got a good look, we took the critters out to the field for release. If they are not released quickly, they will begin to eat each other!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2002 at 9:38PM
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Maybenextime(5 (b) MI.)

Very nice interesting stories ..
A thank-you gpes out to all for sharing!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2003 at 11:02AM
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scratch(z5 can)


I have also found a praying mantis this week. I had purchased a couple egg pods out of Ontario. They had all hatched and we got to watch, the boys loved it. I believe it helps me in my garden with bug control. Anyway we had not seen any for months but just this week found one living on our trellis on the garage. Haven't seen any pods yet but I would like to know if I should bring it in because it would certainly not live in this climate(it gets very cold and lots of snow). And I have read that they do live for a year so by leaving it outside would be it would die earlier. Also if I find any pods do I do like foxbuild and do the glass jar thing? Or will it survive the cold winter and snow? I live in N.B. Canada Thanks for any suggestions!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2004 at 10:30AM
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Maybenextime(5 (b) MI.)

I found 2 pods,they are on seperate branches of my Rose Of Sharon!
I had purchased a pod (in May of 2005)and watched hundreds of them emerge and a few mantis'lived out thier short life on my land...I even saw mother to be before she made her sacs(s?) (not sure if they make more then one)
They are wonderful little critters!

Maybenextime :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 9:07PM
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I have an egg sac in my corkscrew willow bush near my deck. I have been watching the sac waiting for the babies to emerge. Is there anything I should do to provide them with food? I have heard about raw hamburger...?? Will they have enough to eat on my large bush? Also, when should they pop out? It is the last week of April and they are still not out.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:00AM
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Hello, last fall we had a visitor stay with us for a while. She left an egg sack for us, attached to the lid of her tank. We put it in the shed for the winter and recently brought it inside. I have 2 first the sack had a glisteny, whitish appearance, and now it is a bit brownish, is this normal? Also, I am concerned because she laid the egg sack upside down (on the lid) but we have kept it right (or wrong!) side up, was this a bad move? I appreciate any tips!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 2:15PM
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I would like to order some praying mantis eggs from the Costco website, but am concerned with the Calgary temps. Summer evening temps are rarely above 70F - we have the winds come off the mountains. Will a praying mantis survive here? Appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 6:19PM
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Hey Susan,
I too was interested in the praying mantis eggs from Costco for my Calgary garden. I did some research and talked to some professionals and here is the latest information that was sent to me. I hope it helps.
"This type of insect is not adapted to Calgary's year round climate. They will not sucessfully overwinter and you would need to be prepared to move the insects indoors in the winter and help them survive until the next summer. Place them in close proximity to areas where you have aphid problems  when they hatch from the egg sac they will need food immediately and will eat each other if food is not readily available  be prepared to lose a fair number to sibling competition and flying away.
Mantids will not have any effect on the mosquito population  mosquitoes do not form an important part of their diet and move too quickly to be captured.
In summary, the mantids are an annual environmentally friendly solution that provides some level of aphid control  whether the results justify the costs is difficult to say."

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 2:44AM
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Still raising Praying mantis!
Gotta love those little critters!
Just wondering, if one would make a sac on a brick building. And In zone 4-5 do we have different Species of mantis' which behave differently.
I know it is said there are 2,000 different ones. Can different ones live here,if yes will they mate with the original ones that we are familiar with??
Curious question huh?


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:53PM
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In response to Maybenextime, YES, praying mantises will lay eggs on brick, wood, trees, glass, stucco, metal, anything. We are lucky enough to have an ENORMOUS mantis population here, so we see the egg sacs all the time--probably at least a hundred every year. I currently have one in my kitchen waiting to hatch in a jar. I will put most of the babies back outside, but hope to retain about a half-dozen of them for the kitchen windows. We typically have big fruit fly problems in our kitchen due to lots of fresh produce and a compost bucket, but last year when a mantis accidentally found its way inside and staked out a home on our windowsill, the fruit fly problem went away completely.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:41AM
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I was unaware that the kids brought an egg sac into the house until it hatched this morning, in and on the dresser. We've gathered up about 60 of them, and I don't see anymore, but as messy as their room is this week, they could be anywhere. How important is it that I find all of them? Those are some tiny critters!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:54PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

How important is it that I find all of them?

Well, they don't sting, or bite, or come after you. Some might find enough to eat in a home and keep the place free of small insects. Some hatched on our windowsill a month ago and I'm sure some were not found and moved. No problems here......yet :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:26PM
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Does anyone handle the praying mantises (manti) or let their kids do it? They can be viscous to aphids but what about humans?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:17PM
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I actually rescued a mama mantis who was trying to cross the street, once. She gave me the gift of her last egg pod shortly before dying.
While she was alive and happy (and very friendly, always wanting to ride my shoulder or my head, the frame of my glasses if she could talk me into it..) she went on several field trips to my son's school. He's autistic and physically/mentally retarded. The mantis would spend an hour in his classroom while the more mobile/aware kids would feed her little bits of raw meat off the tip of a bamboo skewer. She was very happy with walking all over my hand, my aunt's hand, and my son's arm.
So long as you can trust the child not to freak out, yeah.. I think mantids are very kind to humans. What scares them are the sort of things you'd expect. Shrieking, flailing people that they're riding on.. being picked up incorrectly, etc.
Oh, and to pick one up properly, hold your hand or a stick out in front of it and gently ease it on. Finger and thumb grasping for the thorax is a baaaaad idea. I found out the hard way when I forgot myself with a truly wild specimen.. they CAN reach to "bite" if gripped there. It does hurt, but doesn't bleed. Similar to a thorn's nick or a papercut, depending on where they get you, and it's entirely self-defensive. So long as they're handled properly, they don't see people as a threat. I've heard there are a great many varieties sold as novelty pets, even! :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 1:34AM
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I hate to ask the same question as the others but it remains unanswered. To what zone is the commercially sold mantis hardy?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 3:31PM
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My kids were always scared of the Praying Mantis! I would of just left it where it was at.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:17PM
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I have a praying mantis on my screen door of my patio. I have been watching it, and it is definitely starting to lay an egg sac! Can I relocate this praying mantis carefully to a bush or ivy? I want them to have a chance, but dont think that staying on the screen door will make it until spring! Any suggestions are welcome!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2014 at 7:45PM
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