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Praying Mantis Eggs may actually be purchased online these days. They range from to per egg case depending on the site and time of year you order. They are usually available from January to April. Some eggs are kept indoors and refrigerated to keep from hatching too early. Once you receive the eggs the recommended room temperature is 67-68 degrees (do not expose to direct sunlight) and released as soon as it hatches.

There is a high demand for mantid eggs, not just for agricultural puposes (one case will be good for about 3,000 square feet of gardening land!) , but for study as well, as many they are observed in high school biology classes as well. In the mid-Atlantic area there are a good amount of eggs laid for the Chinese Mantid. It just takes time to find and collect them if you were to do it on your own. However, there are specialists who actually make a living from them. On many sites praying mantis eggs are back-ordered as there is a high demand for them this time of year. Pre-ordering them for next year is recommended.

Do mantids make good bio-control-agent insects? Well, maybe, but not necessarily. Tenoderaaridifolia sinensis, aka, the Praying Mantis (commonly referred to as the common Chinese Mantid, will eat pests as well as beneficial insects like ladybugs. They don’t care about protecting crops, they just like to hunt and eat anything they physically can.

Depending on when you order the egg case, the baby mantises will come out in 28 to 45 days. If you plan to hatch it outside, make sure it is elevated and secured and somewhat concealed from predators. 
 
Native species and most of other species are approved by the USDA / APHIS and with no permits required. Always check your county ordinances regarding the more exotic species.

In any case, make sure you do your research. There are many sites out there that sell praying mantis eggs. Most of them have detailed instructions for the best results in egg-hatching as well as nymph feeding.

My brother successfully allowed two adult mantids to mate and the female ended up laying her eggs right in her cage.  When the baby mantids finally hatched in the spring he put them in small separate vials and we took care of them the best way knew how.

At first we fed them fruit flies and when they got a little bigger, we started buying crickets from the pet store.  Some of these adolescent mantids were able to tackle and devour crickets that were considerably larger than they were.

With each passing molt, the young mantids grew bigger and stronger.  Some we were able to release in our backyard and some we kept for observation and study.

Before all this, we never even seen mantid nymphs.  It was a wonder to watch them grow into adulthood.

By Noy Ilao