Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

Preying Mantises Hatched!

April 29th, 2013 by Lila Steinhoff

Waiting and Watching

When faced with aphids and insects munching the veggies in my garden, I resorted to mail order insect eliminators… ladybugs and preying mantises.

matis egg hatched in bagPreying Mantis Hatching from Egg Sac

There were two egg sacs in the package I ordered. I hung one in the window at my son’s house, so my grandson could watch them hatch and have the joy of releasing them. I put my egg sac in a paper bag and hung it on my porch.

The instructions said it may take as long as two months for the mantis to hatch and not to be discouraged. They had to feel that it was warm enough to have ‘food’… aka insects on growing plants… available when they hatched.

My Paper Bag Runneth Over

Preying Mantis egg sac and hatchlingsEgg Sac and Just Hatched Preying Mantises

My grandson’s mantises hatched yesterday. I was still looking at an empty paper bag. However, this afternoon, it was my turn. I have baby mantises. Yippee! They are about half an inch long.

Releasing the Babies

I took the paper bag to the garden and ripped it down the side. The mantises made no effort to leave the bag. I guess they were still getting over being crammed inside the 1-inch in diameter egg sac with 150 to 200 friends.

Preying Mantis hatchlings 04-29-2013Slow Moving Preying Mantises

Finally, I ‘helped’ them leave the bag by holding the bag against a leaf and let them walk off. Some didn’t move, so I let them crawl on my finger and deposited them on the plants.

Preying Mantis hatchlings 04-29-2013Preying Mantis on Basil Leaf

More Pictures

I found these little insects fascinating. I took a lot of pictures that ranked right up there with cute kitten pictures.  See for yourself. Click on any picture to make it larger, then click on the right or left side of the image to move through the gallery.

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