Hоw Tо Gеt Rid Of Рrауіng Mantis (Simple Ways)

Mantises contain over 2,400 species worldwide and are part of the Mantodae order of insects. The largest family is the Mantidae. They have a triangular head with big bulging eyes, and this gets supported on a flexible neck. Their extended body way or may not have wings. Their forelegs are long and are adapted to catch its prey. Their still upright posture with a folded forearm, as if in prayer,gets its nickname – praying mantis.

Mantises are of the same superorder as cockroaches and termites, i.e., Dictyoptera. They are sometimes confused with the grasshopper and stick insects. They are predatory and camouflages well with the surrounding.  Some species are ground-dwelling and pursue their prey.

Mantises live for around a year. The female lays their eggs in autumn and then die — the eggs hatch in spring, the next year. Females sometimes eat their mates after copulation, leading to the term of female fatale to this creature.

In ancient times, Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers. They are one of the popular pets favored among insects. The word mantis comes from Greece and is known as ‘soothsayer’ or ‘prophet.’

Physical Feature

Mantises have a large triangular head with a beak-like snout and mandibles. They have two large compound eyes and three simple eyes, along with a pair of antennae. Their neck is pretty flexible and can rotate up to 180 degrees. They are typically green, yellow, or brown. They vary between two to six inches, depending upon the species.

They have two spiked, grasping forelegs, with which they securely grasp their prey. The grasping apparatus on their legs are arranged inwards, so that it’s difficult for the victim to escape, once in their clutch. Their four hind legs are used for walking and also latch on to their prey along with forelegs.

Mantises are long-winged (macropterous), short-winged (brachypterous), crumpled wings (micropterous), or wingless (apterous). All winged mantises have two pairs of wings, with the outer wings longer and covering their hind legs, which are weak and delicate. The outer wing or tegmina are usually narrow and leathery. The abdomen in men was slimmer compared to that of females.

Their stick like feature, green and brown color, helps it to merge with the leaves and foliages. During the dry season, they molt to turn black, easily camouflage themselves with the surrounding. Some mantis’ looks colorful flower too! This merging with the background tactics, help it to prey and also escape being preyed upon. Mantis has only one ear, which is in the underside of its belly. Those who don’t have ears live on the ground. This ear can sense the high pitched tones of bats, thus helping them to avoid them at night.


The compound eyes of a mantis are most suitable to seek out its prey, track their movement, and grab them during the opportune moment. Their compound eyes contain 10,000 ommatidia, and the front fovea has excellent visibility and focus. The binocular type field of sight due to its widely spaced eyes, focus at one moving object, gives the mantis stereo vision. They don’t have a pupil like more substantial animals. The black spot seen in mantises is a focal point of what they see, which keeps changing constantly.

Mantises can see at night and hence move around this time of the day, to avoid attacks from birds and other diurnal creatures. Mantises have all the sensory organs like us – see, hear, feel, listen, and smell. However, the most robust sense in their vision, compared to all other insects. They are primarily diurnal. Those who move about at night also gets attracted to artificial lights. This sense of sight is unique among mantis, across all insects, since they see in 3D! Their field of vision can extend to around 60 feet.


Mantises are predators of arthropods. They camouflage themselves and allows their prey to come within striking distance before they attack. Sometimes, like in-ground mantis species, they walk stealthily or chase their prey rapidly at high speed. Their forearms move at lightning speed, which is difficult for naked eyes to grasp. When within their grasp, mantises use their raptorial spiked forelegs to latch on to their prey. They only feed on live food and don’t restrict to only one type of animal, reptiles, birds, or insects. When they capture prey, they attack the brain first and make it numb. Mantis don’t eat vegetation.

Larger mantises sometimes eat smaller members of their species. They prey on fishes, frogs, lizards, and little birds. Insects like moths, grasshoppers, crickets, and ants are its other prey. The foregut of the mantis extends the entire length of their body. This allows it to store the whole victim inside to digest slowly, and they are known to feed intermittently. The Chinese mantis grows faster, multiply quickly, can eat pollen, and live longer.


Mantises themselves fall prey to birds, frogs, and lizards. They get preyed by abundant species of hornets, spiders, hunting wasps and bats. Mantises do not have any chemical, to protect themselves. They use their camouflage technique, merging with the background, lying flat along the ground, to escape from their prey.

If they feel threatened, they extend their massive forelegs, open up their wings, and stand erect, so that they pose to look ominous. They lash out with their foreleg to bite or wound their attacker to protect themselves. They sometimes also release a hissing sound from their abdomen to ward off the threat.

When some mantises fly during the night, they can identify the echolocation sounds of an approaching bat. They can stop midflight and drop quickly to the ground in a tumble, to escape from this threat.


Mating occurs typically during winter. However, there are various varieties of mantises, where mating occurs all round the year. During mating, the male sits on the female mantis, hold them with their forelegs, and deposits their sperm in a small sac in the females’ abdomen. A female lays eggs between ten to up to 400 numbers.

The females’ abdomen secretes a foam-like substance on leaves, branches, or ground, on which the eggs get laid. This foam then covers the eggs to form a solid capsule-like structure, called the ootheca. This case helps the eggs to survive extreme climate and environment, to hatch.  Sometimes, the female guard their eggs until they get hatched. Most of the time the eggs hatch by themselves after one complete season.

The eggs of smaller species may hatch in 3-4 weeks, while those of more significant types take 4-6 weeks. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which are a tiny version of the adult mantis. The life-span of mantis is around six months.Eggs and the young ones fall prey to wasps and other insects. Molting can happen up to ten times before the young adult gets formed. The young nymphs start feeding on small insects, immediately after their birth. Some feed on each other too!

Sexual Cannibalism

The eating of the mate after sex is predominant among most of the praying mantis fraternity. Usually, the younger male who mates an older female mantis gets devoured after the culmination of their sexual activity. Some males could escape a few times but fall prey later, since mating occurs multiple times during their lifetime.

This activity by females is widely studied, researched, and discussed at various forums. Though males are cautious about escaping immediately after mating, most of them succumb to their female partners. Acute hunger of the female leads to devouring the male head immediately or during the mating session, which has been noticed by the researchers. This nutrition helps in laying more eggs, which helps in the multiplication of this species.

Literature And Art

Mantis is a hotly debated and mentioned subject right from 10th century AD. Mantis and their cannibalism syndrome have extensive mention in novels, films, and arts.

Martial Art

Two forms of martial art developed in China get referred to as Northern Praying Mantis and Southern Praying Mantis. These styles resemble the stance taken by mantis’ in their self-defense.

In Mythology And Religion

Some tribes of Africa considered mantis as one of their living God, while others placed it with sooth-sayers, tricksters, and also one with supernatural powers! Mantis’ posture of the folded forearm, ability to camouflage with nature, attack its prey with skill and cannibalism of males after copulation, led to these various ideas and beliefs during ancient times.


Mantis is considered the most widely kept pets among all insects. Though weird, there are many families and study groups worldwide, who kept mantis as pets and also bred them.

Pest Control

Gardeners, who prefer to grow their crops naturally, without artificial pest control measures, tried to introduce mantis to prey on their crop-eating insects and pests. Since mantis eats and preys whatever comes their way, they were destroying both – useful and pests alike. Mantis is not meant to control pests, and hence experiments were a disaster!


Inspired by the mantis, the robot has extended arms to latch on to objects and reach out at a distance, walk and climb stairs. Rotatable joints provide sidewise movement to the robots. Spikes are now being considered to be added to the forearms, to improve the grip.


There are over 2,400 species of mantis found worldwide. Here are a few well-known varieties:

African mantis: These species are considered one of the largest in the world. It suits well as a pet due to its docile nature. They are green or brown.

Budwing mantis: These are light or dark brown with dark and light spots on its body. The name got coined from the fact that the female species have short wings.

Dead leaf mantis: This is one of the largest species, which has spread from Malaysia. They resemble a dried leaf, which helps them to blend very well with the surrounding.

Giant Asian mantis: These are generally bright green. They come in shades of yellow. They are also considered as pets since they are easy to take care of.

Orchid mantis: As the name suggests, this variety is white and pink. Their hind legs have lobes, which resemble a blooming flower. These could easily blend with the plant, and no one would notice the difference with the real orchids.

Does Praying Mantis Attack Humans?

Praying mantis don’t attack humans since they can see quite clearly that humans are enormous. They don’t bite.

Incase they do bite you, don’t fret. They are non-venomous. Just follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with water.
  • Apply soap and lather well.
  • Rub the lather well across, at the back of the hand and between the fingers.
  • Rinse the lather off your hands using running warm water.
  • Dry your hands completely. This is an essential process of cleaning your hand well.
  • Use a towel or napkin to turn off the faucet.

Check the bite for any bleeding and treat your wound appropriately. In case of any pain, treat with a painkiller. Apply a soothing ointment on the pierced or bitten area.

How Do You Avoid Mantis Bite?

  • Wear gloves while going out for gardening.
  • Cover your legs and arms with proper clothing, if going thro’ wood and long grass.

Mantis bites humans for the following reasons:

Giant mantis: Mantis vary in size. If you come across a giant mantis and it feels threatened, it is going to retaliate. It will stand erect, extend its forearms and its wings. It might emanate hissing sound from its abdomen. In case they still anticipate danger, they would try to clutch you with their forelegs or bite with their mandibles. Their jaws are not strong enough to hurt you. It’s prudent to leave them alone.

Finger as prey: Don’t tackle a mantis from the front. If you wish to hold on to it, grip their body from the back so that their forelegs can’t reach you.In case you approach from the front, the mantis would consider your fingers as a threat. They would try to wrap their foreleg around one of your fingers. Their sharp edges under their raptorial forelegs, cannot pierce the human skin that easily. Wear gloves when dealing with mantis.

Praying Mantis As A Pet

These days, mantis are gey considered as pets, and many pet-shops keep them captive for customers. You must consider the following if there’s a plan to add them to the pet list:

Container: If you are planning to keep mantis as pets, arrange to get a glass container with a lid. The lid must holes, smaller than the mantis so that they could breathe.

Natural surroundings: Arrange to fill the space with some plants, dead wood, so that the mantis would feel comfortable. If they can camouflage themselves with the surrounding, they would think that this is their natural habitat.

Heater: Since the mantis is from humid and temperate climatic regions, summers are not a problem. However, during winter, lower some head pads inside their abode or operate a room heater near their container, to make them feel at home.

Food: Mantis feed exclusively on live food. Hence, you have to provide them with small crickets and flies regularly.

Water: Like humans, mantis too requires water. Twice a day, spray some water inside the container for the mantis to feed on.

Some Facts About Mantis

They exist in the jungles and the dessert, all over the world. Some more facts about mantis are:

Bite by mantis: Logical sense prevails among mantis when they come across humans. They realize that humans cannot be prey. So bite by mantis is quite rare among humans. Even if they try to protect themselves, their forearm claws or bite with mandibles, are not larger than pricks on our thick skin. Hence they are considered non-aggressive concerning humans. Washing with soap and water and the application of antiseptic solution and cream should be sufficient.

Dog bite: If a dog is curious about these strange creatures, they can be sure about getting a nip. Since mantis does not carry any venom, their bite doesn’t affect the dog in any way. The bite might cause some irritation, which would disappear after some time. Cleaning with soap and water and applying the disinfectant solution on the scratches or wounds would do.

Prey bigger than mantis: They can attack their victim, who is three times their size. Since they are agile, they can walk, fly, and jump. They can snap their forearms at lightning speed to snare their prey and incapacitate their heads.

Are they endangered: It’s a myth that they are becoming extinct. There are multiple species present around the globe, except Antarctica.

Does seeing a mantis mean a thing: When you see a praying mantis, especially before a strike, you will find them elegant, poised, still and contemplative. This reminds us of the calm state that we should practice in our daily lives. There is no other significance when you spy a mantis.

How is it useful: People buy and engage praying mantis in their garden, to eat the bugs and pests. Since they don’t discriminate between good and evil, you would feel sad if you find even earthworm and other friends of your garden vanishing.

Do they kill bees: They kill all kinds of bees, including honey bees. Since they are a carnivore, they don’t discriminate between living beings, which they consider as their prey.

Hummingbird: A mantis will wait patiently near a feeding hummingbird and attack at an opportune moment. They would feed along the neckline and would soon devour the entire flesh of the bird.

Are praying mantis beneficial: Since they eat all kinds of insects, reptiles, small animals and birds, they can’t be considered either a pest or beneficial. They usually create more damage than good!

Can they fly: Most mantises are born with wings, while some don’t. The female species cannot fly, but the male can.

What attracts males: The female mantis releases pheromones, which attracts males from far away. This chemical gets the males to reach the female and get into the act of fornicating. They are fearless about the cannibalism trait exhibited by the females during and after the mating.

Humans attract:Mantis seems to be drawn by humans. If you are close to a mantis, you could expect them to walk up to you and walk up your sleeve or your legs. If you face them, you could expect them to take a various stance, trying to size you up. After some time, when they feel that you are not their kind of prey, they would walk away. Their intellect, along with their vision, is far advanced compared to other insects.

Spitting and getting blind: There are many myths behind this strange creature. It’s thought that if you stare at a mantis for long, you might become blind. Also, if you get close to a mantis, they would spit venom at you. All these are only myths and not true at all. Nothing happens to you if you stare at them. Also, the mantis is not venomous, hence spitting is ruled out. They don’t spit at all but make a hissing noise to scare you away.

Some Strange Facts About Mantis

French folklore: It got told that if a child loses his way, by following a mantis, he will reach home safely.

Arabic and Turkish folklore: The belief was that mantis would always point in the direction of their sacred place of worship – Mecca. Hence mantis was revered and looked up to.

African mythology: Here, several insects, including mantis, get worshiped. They felt if mantis fell on someone, it is a sign of good luck.

Chinese culture: They believed that roasted mantis eggs cure children from wetting their bed also a cure for thyroid ailment.

Steps To Get Rid Of Praying Mantis

The mantis feeds typically on bugs and pests in your garden, and you are quite happy with their presence. However, once they start invading your house, you may have to start looking at controlling or getting rid of them. Follow these simple steps:

Physical Removal:

Step 1: When you try to get hold of a mantis, do so from behind. Wear a protective glove. Otherwise, you would get slashed and bitten, though not life-threatening, but painful. Use tweezers if they are plentiful.

Step 2: Place them inside a container, with a lid on top and small holes to help them breathe.

Step 3: Move the mantises to another location. It could be a friend’s yard or a school for their experiment collection.

Step 4:In case there are no relocation possibilities, they kill them. Younger ones can be crushed under your shoes, while the larger ones can get smashed with any hard garden tools.

Soapy spray:In case you wish to repel mantis from your lawn or garden, spray soapy water on your grass or plants. Prepare this soapy water with a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid. This mixture gets rid of all creepy and crawling insects. If the mantis doesn’t find his prey in the surrounding, he would automatically move away. Repeat this spray for some time, till the mantis disappears.

Beer: Another homemadeconcoction works very well against mantis. Mix equal quantity of beer, mouthwash, yeast, and epsom salt. Place this mixture in the spray, shake well, and spray directly on these insects. This is potent enough for the mantis to vanish.

Nettle prune: In a non-corrosive container mix, ten liters of water and 100gms of nettle. Soak for nearly 48 hours. Strain the mixture and fill the sprayer with the liquid. By using this spray on your plants would help you get rid of all pests, including mantis.

Turmeric: You can sprinkle turmeric powder in those areas where these insects got found. The suffocating property of turmeric will keep mantis and prey away for good.

Birds: Certain birds prey on insects, including mantis. If you promote feeding these birds like robins, nightingales, thrushes, and larks around the area which you wish to free from these pests, they would be under control.

Mantis Eggs

Praying mantis is sometimes sought for use as natural pest repellant by farmers, gardeners, and house owners. The best way to obtain mantis is to get hold of their eggs – either from the wild or purchase them online. Get these egg-cases or ootheca and store in your required place as follows:

  • Do not acquire more than your required egg-cases. Otherwise, you would have an infestation of this creature
  • Attach these egg-cases to tree branches or twigs with fine thread.
  • Ensure that they are placed away from the ground so that they protected from being eaten or destroyed.
  • Place your egg cases away from each other, so that the hatched nymphs don’t devour each other.


Mantis are fascinating creatures, which are a gift to nature. Over the ages, the mantis has raised the curiosity of everyday people and researchers alike. It is prudent to leave them alone to ensure the balance in your ecosystem. However, if they genuinely become a menace, then there is no other way than to vanquish them! The decision is yours.

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