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Nainoa

Preying Mantis'

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So last spring when we moved out to the new Ponderosa, we moved in just at planting time... Got everything in the ground before it exploded out of the greenhouse.

Shortly after the garden was raided by a ton of bugs and new pests, that come as part of a country garden. The previous owner left behind a small amount of different organic pesticides and such (Pretty much his hint to let me know what was in store and what he did.)

I used them all, and bought replacements, and everything turned out just fine. But still it was a lot of work to go reapply after every rain and the cost was higher than I expected.

Now with a 6 week old daughter in the house, time and money are at a premium. My wife's grandmother, who used to have a farm and garden not far from here told me that she used to just go out each year and buy Preying Mantis eggs and they would clean up any bug problems she had.

So I bought some on line... Should yeild 200-400 mantids (Enough for my 4000 square foot garden and orchard)

It says with the instructions to hatch them out in mid spring, in the garden and let them hatch out in the warming days... OR to hatch them inside a sealed paper bag.

I figured I'd see if any of you have ever worked with Mantids before... Any tips?

Thanks!

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Mantis are not the best biological control for pest insects. Mantis are general feeders meaning they will go after all prey and not just your pest population you are looking to control, they will eat there own species along with beneficial insects such as pollinating bees and fly's, butterflies, moths to name a few. They also are poor control specimens because they do not change to population densities of your pest. so if your pest population increases, the mantis population or eating behavior will not change and will stay the same so no control will happen. another thing about mantis is that they fly, so they will not stay in your garden the whole time. One more problem with mantis is that they have only one generation per season so after they hatch and move on through there life cycle you will not have any control for the rest of the season. Mantis are nice to hatch from eggs and watch there biology but that is about it.

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We've used Mantis's in our garden with limited success. Yeah, they eat a bug or 2 and are really cool to see, but don't expect them to save the world.

Next to my garden is what's left of a tree stump/hole in the ground that houses aboot a gabillion garter snakes. They're always in the garden. I have no idea if they're keeping the bugs away but the past couple years I have not had much of a problem.

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