Praying mantids eat a wide variety of pest insects, mites, and insect eggs. Young mantids prey upon soft-bodied insects such as Aphids, Leafhoppers, Mosquitoes, and Caterpillars. As adults they will eat larger, hard shelled insects such as small Beetles, Grasshoppers and Crickets.
Praying mantids are shipped in their natural egg cases, which are called ootheca. The ootheca are comprised of many single eggs encased in the mothers dried, foamy saliva. Each ootheca is gathered in the wild and may contain between 150 and 200 individual eggs.
Optimal Conditions: 75-80°F
Hatching requires at least 10 to 15 days of continuous warm weather but can take as long as 6 weeks to begin. Once hatching begins, the young mantids will emerge from the egg cases and rapidly look for something to eat. Cannibalism may occur with low pest densities present.
Hatching will be complete within a few hours and the newly hatched mantids quickly disappear into the vegetation looking for food. Praying Mantids are well camouflaged and leave very little evidence of hatching.
Disclaimer: ARBICO Organics cannot guarantee hatch rates of praying mantid egg cases because they are collected in the wild during the early spring months. We recommend hatching praying mantid egg cases in resealable containers that allow for monitoring; however, cannibalism among mantids increases when they are hatched out and kept in confined environments with limited food sources. Please release immediately after hatching commences for best results.
In order for Praying Mantid egg cases to hatch, they need to be kept at a temperature of 60-80°F. Hatching can take between 2-6 weeks to occur. We recommend indoor hatching so that you can monitor the hatching process. We have found that on top of a refrigerator is a good spot to store them. To slow hatching, you can keep them in their vials in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
If you choose to hatch outdoors, the cases and emerging mantids are vulnerable to predators and the weather. Additionally, it is easy to mistake a hatched and abandoned case for an unhatched one. Unless you closely observe the cases many times a day, you may not be aware that they have hatched and left the area. They push out between fibers in the case, which will then close up behind them, leaving no evidence of their departure.
To Hatch Indoors:
- Egg cases will need to be kept tightly closed in a container until they hatch. Either leave them in the vial they arrive in, or place them in a jar (like a pickle jar) with a tight fitting lid. There is plenty of air in mason jars for the egg cases to remain viable. Do not use a plastic bag to hatch mantids.
- To monitor hatching on individual cases, place only one egg case per container. Otherwise, you can use a larger jar and put multiples inside.
- Observe closely and often. The emerging mantids will need to be released as soon as they start hatching or they will begin to eat each other.
- Once you see the hatching, take them to your desired release area and sprinkle them out. You can leave the egg case outside in the event that there are still some mantids inside waiting to hatch.
Environment: Outdoors, Vegetable Gardens, HoopHouses, Orchards & Vineyards, Greenhouse, Aquaponics
Application Rate: Use 3 cases every 5,000 sq. ft. or 10-100 cases per acre.
Storage: Store in a refrigerated environment until hatching is desired. If not releasing immediately, keep in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. May be refrigerated for several weeks before release. Do not freeze. Optimal conditions for hatching are 60° to 80°F.
Praying Mantid Egg Cases are shipped via USPS. Orders are shipped the next available shipping date unless requested otherwise. Please account for local environmental conditions in your release area when ordering.
Call us at 1-800-827-2847 if you would like your order shipped via expedited shipping methods.
Cannot Be Shipped To: HI,PR,VI,GU,AS,PW
Warning & Toxicities: If there are no pest insects nearby, praying mantids may resort to cannibalizing their siblings.
Write a review
Aug 6, 2018 | By Michale Jackson
I Love It!!!
Jul 29, 2018 | By SANDRA JARDINE
Very helpful, and inexpensive
Jul 23, 2018 | By Daniel Davis
Jul 23, 2018 | By PATRICK YIRKA
review of product
Jul 7, 2018 | By ralph
Jun 19, 2018 | By Joseph Dattilo
Decent hatch rate
Jun 16, 2018 | By Lucas
Jun 6, 2018 | By Nick Strick
Jun 1, 2018 | By Paul E. Doniger
May 28, 2018 | By Doug Salter
Good idea but...
May 25, 2018 | By Nora
May 21, 2018 | By James
May 21, 2018 | By Merced ramirez
May 15, 2018 | By Stanley
Owner Response:Hello Stanley,
We encourage you to call if you have viability issues with our beneficial insects. Our customer service can be reached at 1-800-827-2847. Praying mantid egg cases can vary in the quantity of eggs in each and hatch rates, but we are happy to discuss best practices for hatching them out and problem solve with you going forward.
May 15, 2018 | By John Milanoski
May 6, 2018 | By KERRIE
Apr 17, 2018 | By Priscilla
Hard to find in this area.
Apr 15, 2018 | By Dave B
Owner Response:Hi Dave! The praying mantids are adapted to overwinter in places where there are harsh winters, so they should be just fine even with the cold temperatures. We recommend that you hatch them out indoors this year in order to keep them in a stable temperature. You can put them in a covered jar or tupperware container. Hatching can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
Apr 5, 2018 | By KEN KELLER
Owner Response:Hi, It looks like the egg cases were delivered less than 2 weeks ago. It may take 6 weeks or so for some of the praying mantid egg cases to hatch!
Feb 22, 2018 | By JoElla
Owner Response:Hello JoElla,
I apologize for any misunderstanding, but unless there is a note or statement requesting a shipping delay we will ship product at the earliest opportunity. The egg cases should be fine, kept in a refrigerator, until you are ready to hatch them.
I hope that this is helpful, please do not hesitate to contact me for further information.
Jun 12, 2017 | By William
Praying Mantid Egg cases
Mar 6, 2015 | By Colleen Schultz