Praying Mantids (Tenodera sinensis) are probably the most fun of all the beneficial insects. They will stay in the area where released and eat just about anything that comes into their territory. They will even eat insects that are handed to them, such as crickets or sow bugs. Their life cycle is one year: they emerge from their egg mass (ootheca) in the spring as miniature adults; they do not have a larval stage. Starting at about 1/2 inch in length, they will grow to be up to 6 inches long by the fall. During that time they eat almost any insect that moves, including aphids, flies, leafhoppers, and even each other. Instead of going out and searching for their food, they prefer to stay perfectly still and wait for their food to come to them. They will even change colors to blend in with their environment. In the fall they mate, lay lots of egg masses, and die, with the egg mass protecting the eggs so they will be ready to hatch in the spring.
• Eat a wide variety of insect pests
• Stay in the area released
• Each container has 2 egg masses, each mass containing about 200 eggs
• The container is clear allowing for easy viewing during hatching