Praying Mantis Egg Cases

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis egg caseThe Praying Mantis is an insect with a voracious appetite. Because of this, it’s always a treat to find them in the garden since I know they’ll help me keep insects in check.

While my husband, Bill, was trimming back our large lavender patch, he came across all sorts of Praying Mantis egg cases attached to many of the plants. How cool is that?! You can see in the photo what the egg cases look like. Perhaps you’ve seen some in an old wood pile, attached to a fence post, or in other areas of your yard but didn’t realize what they are. Now you know!

Praying Mantis egg caseAnyway, Bill dutifully rescued the egg cases from certain doom (prior to trimming off lavender branches, that is) and has placed them in various areas of our garden. Considering the fact that you can buy egg cases commercially for about $6 apiece, we are feeling especially rich!

We usually see full-grown mantises in late summer, especially females laden with eggs. And we always hope they will lay them in our garden.

The egg cases typically hold anywhere from 100 to 200 eggs. They won’t hatch until our weather gets warmer, since they little mantises will need to have plenty of insect prey on hand to munch on. They’ll start with aphids (hooray) and slowly graduate to larger bugs as they grow.

Since the young are very hard to spot, it will be difficult to know if they’ve hatched. But just leave any egg cases you find (or purchase) alone, and then watch for the young mantises as they start becoming more noticeable.