How to Take Care of your Praying Mantis Egg Case

Each Praying Mantis Egg Case from Josh’s Frogs contains 50-200 baby Chinese praying mantids (Tenodera sinensis), just waiting to hatch out! Josh’s Frogs sends you two egg cases for the price of one! Praying Mantids are an ideal way to control insect pests in the garden without the use of harmful chemicals – a single praying mantis will eat hundreds of insects a season. Praying mantids can also be kept as pets, and are easy to keep.

baby praying mantids mantis hatching josh's frogs

Typically, praying mantis egg cases will hatch within 3-10 weeks. If you wish to delay hatching, simply keep the egg case in a refrigerator in a non-airtight container, then remove it 1-2 months before you want it to hatch. Please keep in mind that a very low percentage of Praying Mantis Egg Cases may be infertile – that’s why we sell 2 for the price of 1!

Most customers wish to introduce beneficial praying mantids into their gardens or yards for pest control. If this is the case, simply attach the egg case (also known as an ootheca) to a protected, stable surface with the ‘gills’ oriented facing downward. The egg case is glued to a twig, which makes an excellent attachment point using a zip tie or some twine. A good example of this would be attaching the egg case to a tomato plant cage or fence.Alternatively, the egg case can be hatched indoors, and the baby mantids released into your yard after they hatch.

baby praying mantids mantis release into yard

 If you wish to keep some praying mantids as pets, Josh’s Frogs recommends setting the egg case up to hatch indoors. Many times, the praying mantids may hatch and leave the egg case in less than 24 hours – it’s easy to miss them! Using a 32oz Insect Cup with Vented Lid, we make 2 slits in the lid and run a zip tie through it, using it to secure the egg case to the lid, so that the ‘gills’ are facing downward. In the bottom of the cup, we place a couple layers of paper towel. Every few days, add a bit of water to the paper towel to keep it moist and raise the humidity in the Insect Cup. Expect the egg case to hatch in 3-10 weeks.

 Once the praying mantids hatch, offer food within 24 hours or they may start eating each other! We recommend releasing the bulk of them outside, and housing the mantids you with to raise up individually in 32oz Insect Cups with Vented Lids. Keep a thin layer of paper towel on the bottom, and provide a few thin sticks or twigs for the praying mantis to climb and perch on. Spray the cup lightly with water every 1-2 days.

 

From hatching on to about 4 weeks of age, the praying mantids will be able to consume hydei fruit flies, which are very easy to culture with a Josh’s Frogs Fruit Fly Culturing Kit. After the mantid outgrows the flies, offer crickets. Feed 2-3 flies every few days. If flies are still present in the Insect Cup at the time of feeding, skip a feeding. We recommend using the Josh’s Frogs Mantis Rearing Kit if you choose to raise some mantids in captivity – it makes caring for praying mantids easy!