You can easily find praying mantis egg cases in weedy fields in the fall. (Or buy them online for about $10). We’ve done this the last two years and have some lessons.
- If you keep them inside, they will hatch early. Like in the winter.
- Those cute little plastic bug cases won’t hold the babies or nymphs. They can get through the holes. The first year I only discovered they mantises had hatched when I saw a mosquito-sized, strange looking bug on my dining room window. I spent days discreetly catching and releasing the dozens of mantises, trying not to alarm my husband, who is not as into this project as I am.
- The mantis eggs are in a center core of the case, surrounded by hardened foam. It’s like an airbag around the eggs. Don’t worry if the foam gets hurt.
- When the mantises hatch, they don’t start eating each other immediately.
- You should still release the tiny mantises soon or they will eat each other.
- If it’s too cold outside–or it is going to be–keep them alive with a fruit flies. Petco sells them by the jar in their disgusting-food-of-other-animals section by the reptiles. They will also need a wet sponge and your new fruit fly pets will also appreciate some rotting fruit.