What Attracts Praying Mantis? - Insects Authority (2024)

Praying mantis get attracted to things and places providing food, water, and shelter because their primary purpose is to ensure survival. They do not miss an opportunity to grasp prey present at a close distance and quickly approach the living organisms to hunt them.

What Attracts Praying Mantis? Praying mantis are attracted to shrubs, grasses, bushes, flowering plants, shady or covered areas, garden pests, artificial lights, warm and humid environments, honey, spider webs, sugar water, rodents, and amphibians.

Many people want praying mantis inside their houses and gardens to use them as natural controllers of the pest population. It is not difficult to attract them to a house if you know about their eating preferences and needs for shelter. They only like nutritious things that can provide nutrition and energy to them.


Shrubs, Grasses, and Bushes

They like shrubs and bushes because they feel comfortable around plants. They can hide behind the leaves, twigs, and tree branches to avoid predators.

Moreover, the female mantis prefers to lay eggs in the dense vegetation as she feels comfortable in the hidden regions between plants. She also produces an egg mass in the grasses and shrubs.

It allows her to conceal eggs from the predator’s eyes until hatching starts. The egg mass remains safe from physical disturbance and environmental stress when produced in vegetation.

So, the praying mantis gets attracted to tall grasses and shrubby plants, particularly in the breeding season when they have to secure an egg mass.

Shady or covered areas

Shady areas are favorable spots for praying mantis because they do not like direct light exposure. They stay away from bright light on hot summer days to reduce the risk of dehydration.

They look for covered areas to retain body moisture and avoid sunlight exposure. Accordingly, they get attracted to building eaves, providing shady spots to hang upside down.

In the same way, they also prefer to stay on trees loaded with leaves and get inside the hollow tree trunk if no other organisms live there.

They do not share habitats with other insects from the same or different species and live in shady areas. However, they also hide in dark places in winter to avoid contact with cold air.

Moreover, they expose ectothermic bodies to sunlight in winter when they need warmth to keep themselves warm. They also climb walls to reach areas providing direct exposure to sun rays.

You can attract praying mantis to the garden by growing shady plants that provide good coverage on the ground. They like such places where they can easily hide and keep themselves protected.

Flowering plants and herbs

Many flowering plants and herbs can potentially attract praying mantis as they produce nectar and grab the attention of other insects due to sweet juice.

Many tiny insects approach flowering plants, like marigold, rose, and orchid, making these plants attractive for mantis. Beetles, butterflies, and wasps reach there and get food from flowering plants.

These flowering plants are an indirect food source for these predatory insects because they do not eat flowers but hunt insects that approach flowers.

Similarly, some fruit or vegetable plants and herbs, like raspberry canes, dill, angelica, and a few other crops, also capture the attention of garden pests.

These carnivorous insects detect the presence of corn borers, beetles, or dragonflies around crop plants and get allured by their presence. So, they quickly reach plants and target insects living there.

Garden pests and birds

Praying mantis love the garden pests and other tiny worms or crustaceans living in gardens and forests.

They see garden pests as food sources and get enticed by their presence on plants and other areas. They target small insects, birds, and even vertebrates that commonly visit gardens.

Moreover, their carnivorous habits and predatory nature trigger their hunting instincts when they try to attack and kill organisms that are easier to capture.

Sometimes, they also attack hummingbirds when they sit on bird feeders to suck nectar. I have seen them attacking hummingbirds in my garden, which was quite surprising.

I never assumed them to be deadly enough to kill a hummingbird. Similarly, I was unaware that birdfeeders could attract these carnivorous creatures to my garden.

However, they like to attack smaller birds and other garden pests that are small enough to grasp using raptorial legs. The chirping, clicking, and ticking noise of birds and insects attracts them.

Hydration source

They need water to survive the hot weather and dry conditions. A birdbath, water sprinkler, bowl of water, and other hydration sources attract them.

My neighbor keeps a bowl of water in the yard to provide a water source for the birds that grab the attention of nearby praying mantis. They look for a suitable spot to live around the water source.

It helps remain moist and avoid the risk of exoskeleton drying, which can be deadly for these tiny insects if they do not get water for a prolonged duration.

Artificial lights

Artificial lights can also attract praying mantis at night when there is darkness everywhere. This is due to the presence of nocturnal flying insects around the artificial light source.

Some night-flying insects like moths, mayflies, and beetles are drawn to a light source that can also grab the attention of nocturnal mantis.

So, you can see them on your doorstep if there is a hanging bulb on your door. It seems like they are attracted to the light source, but the actual source of attention is flying insects around the bulb.

Spider webs and compost bins

Spider webs can capture the attention of the mantis in wild conditions when they reach a web in search of food. They can efficiently hunt spiders without getting stuck in the silk webs.

Their raptorial legs make them stronger than spiders, allowing them to hunt prey successfully. One of my friends saw a mantis around a web, showing its interest in capturing the spider.

The compost bins contain worms, mites, centipedes, ants, and other living creatures. These bins become the center of praying mantis’ attention, looking for a food source in the territory.

Controlled use of insecticides

Many people use insecticidal chemicals to control the population of insects in their houses and gardens. These chemicals have a broad range of spectrum and kill a wide range of insects.

Accordingly, the survival rate of praying mantis reduces if they live in areas where people excessively use insecticides to control garden pests.

So, they do not feel comfortable at such places and get attracted to spots with controlled use of insecticidal spray. It ensures survival and reduces the risk of a significant decline in population.

Rodents and amphibians

Praying mantis like rodents and amphibians due to their hunting instincts that get triggered after seeing prey around them. They can capture and kill small mice, frogs, and even toads.

Larger mantis species can easily grab smaller vertebrates and reptiles with long legs and bigger mouths. Small snakes and lizards capture the mantis’ attention when moving in their territory.

I found them eating a dead lizard in my house, which shows their interest in eating reptiles and getting attracted to live and dead organisms.

Honey or sugar water

Praying mantis love sugar water and feel excited to see feeders and bowls of sugar water around them. They quickly approach the bowl to drink the water and nourish their bodies.

It is not an energy-rich food for mantis due to their carnivorous diets, but it provides them with nutritional elements. Both nymphs and adults also love to eat honey from the stick when you keep it close.

I feed sugar water to the Chinese mantis because my pet likes to drink it. It helps maintain moisture levels in the air and keeps them hydrated for a long.

Related Articles:

How does a praying mantis sleep?

Will Praying Mantis Eat Dead Bugs?

What Attracts Praying Mantis? - Insects Authority (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated:

Views: 6587

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.