Do you recommend Praying Mantis?

Asked September 10, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

Hello - I have begun growing prairies in my yard, and want to encourage wildlife including butterflies and moths, bees, birds, etc. I have used Praying Mantis at times in the past for fun as well as to control harmful insects. My concern is that I may hinder my first noted interest if I try to introduce Mantis next Spring. Can you provide your thoughts, concerns, suggestions? I am very grateful! Scott Eastman

Hennepin County Minnesota praying mantis

1 Response

Hi Scott,

Beneficial insects come in all sorts of sizes and flavors. Some are delightfully unusual, like the praying mantis, while others are mundane. The preying mantis you might be familiar with is not a native insect and although they are good predators, some of our natives might be better suited. Our native insect is declining in number - possibly as a result of competition from the other species.
Purchasing ladybugs and preying mantis insects is not recommended:
http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/fea204.html

Also, keep in mind that these insects are not picky about who they eat - and in fact they are just as happy to take beneficial insects as they are to take pests.

I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.