We believe in keeping things natural, which means finding alternative methods to replace the use of toxic pesticides. One of the best alternatives is using insects to control other insects, just as Mother Nature intended. The Praying Mantis is a beneficial bug, its boundless appetite for insects has made it an extremely valuable component of any pest control regimen in an organic garden.
The praying mantis hunts around the clock, moving through vegetation in search of a wide range of insects that includes flies, crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers and moths. It traps these easily with its long barbed legs that move too quickly to be seen with the naked eye.
Praying Mantises usually measure from 2 to 4 inches long and can be bright green, brown or yellowish. Its triangular head, equipped with two large eyes and three smaller ones, is joined to the rest of its body by a long neck that rotates 180 degrees, enabling it to scan its environment on all sides. It can camouflage itself by blending into the color of the surrounding foliage. It lays its eggs, hundreds at a time, in a hard gray case attached to bark, wood or another plant. It often waits near flowers to capture other types of insects that feed on pollen and nectar, or it stalks its pray by moving slowly toward it.
They generally live year-round in the warmer parts of the country, and are most often seen in temperate locations during the warmest summer months. They live in areas of dense vegetation, such as fields and gardens, where they can feed and breed while hiding from larger predators such as birds and bats. The young emerge in the spring, spend the summer maturing and die when temperatures drop. Praying mantises generally don't stay in one place very long and will migrate to wherever the food is most plentiful.
If you lucky you might find a praying mantis egg case in your garden or the surrounding area, and if you are not you can purchase one from a beneficial-insect dealer.
Beneficial bugs are very important in maintaining the balance you your garden… the Mantis is truly a great addition.