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The praying mantis, Tenodera aridifolia sinensis, is not an effective biocontrol agent but they are awesome predators that can server other purposes.
Praying mantids. Some say they’re valuable “general” predators. Well, they’re certainly not picky about what they eat (and they do eat ladybugs, contrary to popular thought). But as far as valuable, as commercial biocontrol agents, anyway, they are not. Praying mantises are too territorial and cannibalistic. Hunt and eat? Yes. Protect your crops from aphids, whiteflies and mites, as I’ve read in several catalogs? No way!
Praying mantis are awesome to have around any garden. Although they are not so good biocontrol agents, they are still symbolic of biocontrol and IPM and look really cool. Mantids are territorial stalkers of insects both good and bad. They can track a single fly for days, and finally when it gets close enough, the mantis strikes out its forelegs, captures the fly and rips its head off to devour the meal. COOL!
The yield of an egg-case is normally between 50-400 baby mantids, each about three-quarters of an inch long. They make great educational tools, pets or just a novelty to have in the garden!
Please note - there may be several days delay before these insects are shipped because it can take a few days to wrangle up the healthiest possible specimens. When they are shipped, they will be shipped overnight to minimize deaths in transit. The shipping label will show that they were sent as quickly as possible.