Natural Pest Control with Praying Mantis
Beneficial insects prey on the insects gardeners detest, keeping insect populations in check.
The Praying Mantis is a general predator of most garden pest insects, mites, eggs, or any insect in reach. The Praying Mantis is an interesting and enjoyable beneficial insect to have around your organic home garden. It is the only known insect that can turn its head and look over its shoulder. Mantis lie in wait for their food and when close enough, snap it up with a lightning movement of their strong forelegs. Measurements of their reflexes show they react more than 2 times quicker than houseflies. Mantis have enormous appetites, eating various aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects when young. Later they will eat larger insects, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and other pest insects.
You need a good eye to spot one, because their coloration and shape provide them with perfect camouflage among the garden plants. When the nymphs hatch, they're so hungry they sometimes eat their siblings. Praying mantises (mantids) are one of the most aggressive predators in the garden. Mantids will prey on almost any insect they can overpower.
Pesticides and even wetting agents and spreader-stickers may adversely affect Mantid's survival. Broad spectrum and systemic insecticides are toxic to praying Mantids.
Praying Mantis Kits are available for purchase online. Might be worth a try!