Dany: Praying mantis’s eat pretty much every single garden pest.

Mary: Yes.

Dany: Mary’s going to show us what they look like and how to take care of them. Should I open it?

Mary: Yeah, go ahead. They are not going to pop out at Dany. They are in their egg cases right now. So Dan, if you wouldn’t mind pointing out the egg case there. So when you get these, you’re going to get two of these egg cases. There are about 200 to 400 little eggs in there, and so with these little egg cases, you’re going to give them about two weeks of warm weather and then they’ll hatch out. I’ve found personally the best way to do this is to actually hatch them out inside. You can use this container here to hatch them or if you have kids, you can get those little clear plastic inset containers and put them in there.

So, they’re going to hatch out and they’re going to be little tiny baby praying mantises called nymphs.

Dany: Okay, nymphs.

Mary: The little nymphs, once they hatch out, I’d wait until the evening to go put them in your garden. Do you know why you would do that?

Dany: Birds.

Mary: Yes. Birds would snack on them if you put them out during the day. So, we’re going to wait till the evening when the birds have gone to sleep. We’ll put them out in a hopefully infested area where they’ve got something to eat.

Dany: Gotcha. Yeah, so you want food and protection.

Mary: Yes. So, the nymphs are going to eat soft-bodied insects because they can’t-

Dany: Your aphids, your mealybugs, your whiteflies.

Mary: Yes, they can’t handle those exoskeletons on the big ones. But as they grow, they’re going to be able to catch larger and larger pests like grasshoppers, crickets and things like that. And, they are super fun and cool to have in the garden. I love finding them in my garden and taking a look at them. You might think they’re a little scary, but there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Dany: They’re praying.

Mary: Yeah.

Dany: Any tips to keep them in my garden once I’ve released them?

Mary: So, really just having things for them to eat, which the garden is going to provide.

Dany: That’s right. If you don’t spray to kill the things, but do be aware of that. They will devour a lot of pests, so you want to be okay with pests before you release them.

Mary: Yes.

Dany: Awesome. Well thanks, Mary.

Mary: Yeah, you’re welcome.

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