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Are Praying Mantis Eggs Poisonous?

Did you know that the ‘Emperor Scorpion’ has nothing to do with emperors nor that the ‘Gypsy Moth’ is not exactly a favorite pet for Gypsies? These are examples of insects that have nothing to do with their names. The ‘Praying Mantis’ is a member of this frequently misunderstood group.

In fact, the praying mantis has more to do with ‘preying’ that it does ‘praying’. It is only called the ‘Praying Mantis’ because these mantises have forelegs that are bent in a praying stance or prayer motion.

These weirdly-shaped insects are master predators with the ability to hunt and kill prey that is even three times their size.

These mantids will gladly make a meal out of insects, mice, snakes and even small turtles. They stealthily stalk their prey and strike at lightning fast speeds giving the victim no chance of escape.

It is believed that having Praying Mantises in your garden is a good pest deterrent strategy. But just because they can help hunt mice and other insects does not mean that they are harmless towards humans and their pets. That is why most avid gardeners are curious to know and often ask the question, ‘Are Praying Mantis egg cases poisonous?’

Five Fascinating Facts About the Praying Mantis

Mantis-Eggs-Poisonous

Widely considered as beneficial, these mantids are not exactly harmful to humans, but they can be a nuisance. They are of the order Mantodea and the most common species of praying mantis found in the U.S. is the Stagmomantis carolina, which is the native Carolina mantis and the Tenodera sinensis, which is the non-native Chinese mantis. Here are some fascinating facts about the Praying Mantis that might help you understand this insect a little better:

A Gardener’s Friend:

Although other insects such as lady beetles or ladybugs are considered more beneficial, the Praying Mantis is one of those insects that go around eating other insects and as such is a good addition to any garden. While they will eat their way through any insects or pests you might have in your garden;

The Praying Mantis does not know the difference between good insects and bad ones. They are an equal opportunity hunter and will eliminate the ladybugs as well. For that reason, they may actually do more harm than good if used as a pest control measure.

They Make Interesting Pets:

We all have hobbies; some weirder than others, but hobbies nonetheless. The Praying Mantis has been known to be a favorite of insect collectors who find these little creatures fascinating. Commonly kept mantis species include the Devil Flower mantis, the Chinese mantid, the California mantis, and the European mantis, and the females are particular popular.

There are even places online where you can buy entire ‘praying mantis care starter kits’ and praying mantis eggs to hatch as nymphs or baby mantis. The eggs are also know as he Ootheca mantis eggs (a pouch of mantis eggs).

Although, if you intend on caring for these insects, you should take the time to do a little research and find out all you can about your preferred species and whether or not the mantis egg cases are harmful to humans or pets as well as how to care for them.

Masters Of Disguise:

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This is one of the main reasons why they are so good at preying on other insects. These creatures are perfectly built for disguising themselves as being as stealthy as can be.

The species of praying mantis that live on the ground often have a spotted brown color while those that live on trees are often green and look like leaves or even twigs. There is even a type of mantis called the ‘flower mantis’ that mimics different types of flowers and is just as beautiful.

Pretty Little Cannibals:

In some species of praying mantis, the female, will cannibalize their mates, known as sexual cannibalism. This sexual cannibalism is quite unfortunate considering the males go through a very complicated mating dance only to end up with a cannibal for a mate and no head or front legs once the deed is done.

Related to Termites and Cockroaches:

Strangely enough, praying mantises, cockroaches, and termites are believed to be from the same ancestral line.

They Encase Their Eggs in Protective Shells:

Praying mantis eggs are often encased in a protective shell that resembles Styrofoam. This Styrofoam-like substance is secreted by the female mantis to keep the egg cases warm and protected during the cold winter months.

These fascinating facts do not answer the question: are praying mantis eggs poisonous? The truth of the matter is that praying mantis are not venomous. At least not to humans or their pets. Whether or not their eggs are poisonous is a different matter.

Not that they have cyanide in them or anything like that, but why would you want to eat them to begin with? Because the adult insect is not venomous, we can safely assume that the eggs aren’t poisonous either. Just don’t eat them. Pets don’t touch them either, so that’s nothing to worry yourself over.

However, just to be safe, if you feel like these insects are becoming way too familiar with your property and you want to get rid of them, the best course of action is to call a pest management professional. We will get rid of the adult insects and all of their eggs to boot.

Most Common Praying Mantis FAQs

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Because most insect enthusiasts enjoy keeping praying mantis as pets and because they are labeled as “a gardener’s best friend,” it is only natural that most people would have questions about these strangely shaped creatures. Here are some of the most common FAQs about praying mantis:

Do Praying Mantises Bite?

The answer to this question is an unfortunate yes. But they do not bite humans or pets that often. Only when they get a hold of your finger and think it is prey. Their bite is not venomous, so it is nothing to panic over. They do, however, go after prey that is even three times their size including crickets, flies, and mosquitoes and as this tweet shows, even snakes:

https://twitter.com/ziyatong/status/919703196712538117

How Long Do Praying Mantises Live?

The duration of their lives depends on the species of praying mantis. It takes most species about 4 to 6 months to reach maturity and another 3 to 8 months before they reach their natural end of life. Bigger species tend to live longer than smaller ones, and the females generally live longer than males (probably because they bite the head off the males during mating).

Is it Illegal to Keep or Kill A Praying Mantis?

Although it is illegal in some states to keep exotic animals as pets, the endemic species of praying mantis are perfectly legal to own as pets. Can you kill them? Sure. Especially, if they are proving to be a nuisance pest around the house, you can hire a pest management professional to eradicate them for you.

Are Praying Mantis Eggs Poisonous?

No, but, don’t eat them. We can safely assume that, since the adult insect is not venomous, then praying mantis eggs aren’t poisonous. Although we haven’t tested this theory out, we urge that you do not try it at home.

Apart from these questions, there is one more that most people, who do not think these insects are adorable or beneficial to their gardens ask: how can I get rid of a praying mantis infestation?

How To Get Rid Of A Praying Mantis Infestation

rid-of-a-praying-mantis

There are several ways to get rid of a praying mantis infestation. There is the Do-It-Yourself way and then there is the professional way. If you want to go the DIY way first, then here are a few things you need to do:

  • Put on some gloves so that you don’t get bitten by the praying mantis
  • Grab the mantis from behind
  • Put it in a box
  • Release it into the wild or kill it

Obviously, this method only works if you have the odd praying mantis in your house and want to get rid of it without a fuss; assuming you are not scared of these creepy crawlies.

But what happens when you have a full-on infestation on your hands? In this case, the best course of action would be to call in a professional. The best pest management companies have experts who are highly skilled when it comes to dealing with insect infestations of any kind.

If you have more than one praying mantis on your property or are concerned that you are seeing one too many praying mantis eggs in your house, then you should call a professional to get rid of the infestation for you.

When you give us a call, one of our experts will come out as soon as possible and take a full assessment of the situation as well as give you a rundown of what needs to be done. For the most part, pest eradication calls take less than a day to complete and, before you know it, you will be back to living your lives as if nothing ever invaded your home.

Give us a call today and let us help you get rid of praying mantis or any kind of pest that might be causing you sleepless nights.

Sources:
https://www.keepinginsects.com/praying-mantis/6-astonishing-mantis-facts/

Mantis FAQ

https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=286131&start=40
https://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/Poisonous-Praying-Mantis

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