Apparently only some praying mantis are part of the genus Mantis, so it is actually more accurate to refer to them as praying mantids. Fine. Whatever you call them, they’re awesome, I accidentally stepped on one once and was terrified I would get fined since it’s not legal to kill them, and we’re planning on mail-ordering some soon to help with the pest problems in our garden. We have had an outbreak of locust babies (we think?) and despite Nate’s efforts to squelch and squash them and Po’s valiant attempt to help (the cat ate a single one of them that we’ve seen) they are everywhere between our yard and a neighbors ever-encroaching overgrown fence line.
$4.99 gets you an egg case of approximately 200 mantid eggs. I have no idea how likely it is that all of these will hatch, or how likely it is that they wouldn’t just get eaten by our ducks, or by Po (though they’re pretty ferocious and it seems likely that he’d eat one and then be done with them), but we figure they’re worth a shot since we know they’re cool, ferocious, and cheaper than green lacewing bugs, which are apparently the best thing ever for a garden, but their price reflects such a status.
While we’d love to spend nothing on pest control (who wouldn’t when they garden?), we would also like to actually get some of our produce and those tiny locusts or grasshoppers or whatever they are had fast eaten a large quantity of our very few broccoli plants and one of my better kale plants.
Here are a list of mail-order bug suppliers for positive pest control in the garden. I’ll let you know who we decide to order from, though I’ve had good experiences with Peaceful Valley Supply so far in the past
Peaceful Valley Supply – Assorted Beneficial Insects
Planet Natural – Assorted Beneficial Insects
Buglogical – Assorted Beneficial Insects, Good prices on lacewings from what I’ve seen so far
Arbico Organics – Sends Lacewings in shipments either weekly or bi-weekly so you don’t have to store the eggs
Hydro-Gardens – Garden packs of beneficial insects that seem like the best price deal for an assortment or beneficial insects