The fascinating Praying Mantis is sold as egg cases which can yield up to 200 and more small nymphs.
Praying Mantis Eggs
Probably the best known beneficial insect, the praying mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) gets its name from its two thick, front legs lined with spikes for grasping prey. It is quick to strike and will eat just about any insect, bad and good, including caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, wasps and bees.
Shop our large selection of beneficial insects, including praying mantis, at Planet Natural. One small bag — 3 egg cases —treats an average size garden for $13.50 with USPS First-Class Mail shipping included!
Large, green and tan praying mantis are most often sold as egg cases which can yield up to 200 and more small adults (some pet stores carry single mature adults for housing in terrariums and other enclosed environments). Two to three weeks of warm temperatures allow the eggs to hatch. The newly hatched insects squeeze through the egg sac, leaving it intact and disperse quickly without leaving behind a clue that hatching has occurred. It takes as much as five months for mantises to reach full size. Females, will lay up to five egg sacs on stalks, stems and twigs during the course of their lives. Raising praying mantids makes for a fascinating science project, one that involves acute observation and effective feeding regimens to prevent cannibalism.
HOW TO RELEASE:
- Use 3 egg cases for small areas — under 5,000 sq ft — and increase the amount accordingly for larger areas.
- Tie each egg case to twigs or branches about three feet above the ground.
- Birds and rodents will feed on egg cases. Placing them in a container with holes large enough for the nymphs to escape — 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter — will provide protection.
Note: Unless you can find a small newborn, it is difficult to tell if the egg cases actually hatched.