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How to Keep a Praying Mantis As a Pet

A praying mantis can be a fun and enjoyable pet. These pets are intuitive and more intelligent than most of the insect family. They can often live up to year and sometimes more if cared for properly. In fact, some naturalists even argue that a praying mantis can recognize a person.


  1. Find a praying mantis.There are several different ways to acquire a praying mantis. You can either buy an egg case from a gardening center or find one in your garden. If you want to find one in your garden you will have to look pretty hard since they are usually camouflaged very well. During the summer however, males are often attracted to lights at night.
  2. Make it a home.The container for holding the praying mantis must not be too big for it to find its prey and at the same time, it must not be too small for it will become too cramped. The length of the container should be 3-4 times the length of the praying mantis and the height should be at least 2 times its length. The reason for this is so that the praying mantis can have enough room to stalk its prey yet not too big or else the praying mantis won't be able to find its prey.
  3. Create the right environment.A good environment is necessary for a praying mantis to live. Punch holes at the top of the lid or container so that it will be able to breathe. There should be a few plants in the cage the same color as the insect so that it can blend in, yet the cage should not be overcrowded. The bottom of the container should be filled with about a half-inch of soil, preferably sand. Make sure that the cage isn't too humid. If the sides of the cage get foggy add a few more holes on top or on the sides.
  4. Feed it.Food is an essential part of keeping a praying mantis as a pet. It can be fed small fruit flies, pinhead crickets, etc. As the praying mantis grows, it can be fed bottle-cap flies, bees, small spiders, etc. If the praying mantis is hatched from an egg case, keep it in the same cage as the rest of the praying mantises and they can eat each other off. While this may sound cruel, it is the easiest way to keep the strongest praying mantises and it is the easiest way to feed them as it is very hard to find small enough food for the baby praying mantises.
  5. Spray the inside of the cage with water about once a day so that the praying mantis has water to drink.The praying mantises will go up to the side of the cage and lap up the water. If you place an open container of water in the cage, then the praying mantises could fall in it and drown.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Does a praying mantis need a heater?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It does indeed. Mantids are usually from humid environments, so heaters recreate that environment well.
  • Question
    I put a small piece of ripe banana in my mantis' enclosure for the fruit flies to eat, thinking my mantis could get to them easier. To my surprise, my mantis loves eating the banana herself. Is this unusual? Could it make her sick?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can only give bananas as a treat. Remember, she is carnivorous.
  • Question
    Can I put a stone bowl with water in the cage?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can, but it's a bad idea. Your mantis will fall in. You should use a small bottle cap instead.
  • Question
    Why does my praying mantis eat so much?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It may be a female that has mated before you caught it, and so it needs more nutrients for the eggs it is developing.
  • Question
    How often should I feed it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You should give the praying mantis live prey. When it catches and eats all of the prey, you can add more. Make sure that food is always available but also not overpopulated.
  • Question
    Can a praying mantis eat ants?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, a praying mantis may eat ants.
  • Question
    What about babies? How do I feed them?
    FeeGee Furo
    Community Answer
    When hatched from an egg sack (oothid), the best way of feeding is too allow them to cannibalize each other. After moving the survivors to a more permanent enclosure, you can start feeding them flightless fruitflies by carefully shaking them into the the enclosure. To provide water, use the cricket water pillows available at most pet stores.
  • Question
    How big can a praying mantis get?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It depends what type you get. Some barely grow to the size of your fingertip, and others can grow over 12 inches long!
  • Question
    Where is the easiest place to find male and female praying mantids and their egg cases in Alabama?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Check in bushes, flowers, and grapevines.
  • Question
    Do praying mantises eat their young or do they only eat the males?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The adult Mantids will likely die before the offspring hatch. However, depending on the species, the hatch-lings, especially the larger ones, may begin to eat their weaker siblings if other sources of food cannot be found.
Unanswered Questions
  • How do you know if the food for the mantis is to big?
  • What will happen if the environment is to moist, what will happen if it's to dry, and what could cause them to lose the function of there legs?
  • Can I put hamster bedding for a praying mantis cage?
  • How do I clean the poop of the praying mantis?
  • Can I eat any kind of ants?
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  • It's good to put some wet grass at the bottom of the cage.
  • Don't ever drop your praying mantis because it could possibly be fatal for the mantis.
  • Make sure you have about 10 minutes a day to spare for your praying mantis and feeding and cleaning out the cage.
  • The more time you spend holding and observing your praying mantis, the more tame it will become around you.
  • Clean out the cage of any excess food because that food will attract ants.
  • Clear cages work best because then you can observe your pet.
  • You can buy fruit flies and pinhead crickets at most pet stores.
  • Don't spray the cage too much because that will encourage mold to grow.
  • Baby praying mantis like to have shredded bark at the bottom of their cage to hide and to soak up water.
  • Sometimes a baby mantis can drown in a single drop of water a wet sponge works great for newborns.
  • It's better to raise your own, instead of catching a grown one.
  • Be sure to feed your praying Mantis every 1 to 4 days.
  • They don't need a heater if your room temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius (72 °F), but a heater is recommended for rooms with a lower temperature.
  • Remember to keep it always fairly humid. Otherwise, your mantis might have a mismolt and this can be fatal.


  • Never put praying mantises together. They will fight and might kill each other.
  • Make sure not to catch any venomous spiders to feed the praying mantis.
  • Do not put too much plant material at the bottom of the cage as the humidity will rise and encourage bacteria to grow and the plant material to rot.
  • Don't feed a praying mantis too large a prey.

Things You'll Need

  • A praying mantis.
  • A suitable container
  • Suitable plants as described before
  • Food for your praying mantis
  • Water at room temp.

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Date: 02.12.2018, 21:32 / Views: 75445