Monday, May 19, 2014

Praying Mantis A Garden Hero?


I regularly run into people who honestly think that every insect in the garden is bad. They try to make it their mission in life to have their garden a bug free zone. Some you can reason with others you cannot. Many insects are not only allowable in the garden, some are extremely helpful.

At times the Praying Mantis could be considered one of the "Guardians of the Garden". At other times the mantis is just a transient visitor. It is a cool insect and freaky all at the same time. A lot of people are afraid of them because they look so "evil".

The praying mantis is an ambush predator and will feed on anything smaller than itself but large enough to get it's attention.

When I say anything I mean anything. Tomato worms? Check. Potato beetles? Check. But at the same time honeybees, lacewings, and really anything. In fact, some species in the tropics have been known to eat rodents, frogs, and small lizards.

If there are not enough insects for them to feed on they will simply go somewhere else. The praying mantis can be helpful when you have an infestation but are really never harmful.

The mantis has great camouflage and can hide in plain sight. It captures it's prey with two spiked front arms and just rips it apart and devours it.

Cool insect, hero at times, neutral at others. I hope you enjoy these posts on insects.

May you achieve your
Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes