Can Praying Mantis Get Sick?

Sickness is common among birds and animals, and insects can also get ill in some conditions. Praying mantis are not disease-carrying organisms, but they are prone to infections and sickness if they do not get ideal conditions for living.

Can Praying Mantis Get Sick? Praying mantis can get sick due to dehydration, food poisoning, poor hygiene, parasitic infections, poor ventilation, physical injuries, contaminated water, stressful conditions, and diseases. They stop moving and eating food when sick, so you can treat them by providing water and food and maintaining hygiene.

They need a moist and warm environment and suffer from health issues if they cannot access warm temperatures and a specific humidity level.

Why do praying mantis get sick?

They can get sick because these tiny creatures are ectothermic organisms that cannot maintain body temperature and suffer from temperature fluctuations in the external environment.

Praying mantis can resist environmental changes, but they lose their ability to fight if their immune system is weak.


A praying mantis cannot live without drinking water for many hours. They have to hydrate their bodies to avoid problems in the metabolism process and digestion of food. Their outer skeleton and chitin layer become hard due to lack of water availability.

Accordingly, they feel sick after a few hours and become sluggish. Prolonged dehydration can also lead to their death due to the drying of bodies.

Food poisoning

They can also get ill due to the consumption of contaminated food particles. You probably wonder about the contamination as they do not eat vegetables and fruits sprayed with pesticides.

Due to their carnivorous nature, they eat only insects and tiny worms available in their surroundings. Some insects have bacterial or fungal pathogens in their bodies and transfer them to mantis.

Accordingly, these pathogenic organisms can disturb their gut flora and affect their ability to digest food, leading to food poisoning. These pathogens can also cause severe infections in bodies.

Poor hygiene

Dirty habitats and cages can also pose a risk of illness to praying mantis because their small bodies can get infected with germs.

Contaminated surfaces have bacterial pathogens; mold and fungi can grow on moisture or dirty food bowls. These germs affect their health and make them severely ill.

It is better to keep the cage floor clean and remove the dead bodies of insects after some time. In addition, keep the water bowl clean to avoid water contamination with their excreta.

Parasitic infections

Some parasitic organisms disturb their lifestyle and cause discomfort by attacking their bodies internally or externally. Ectoparasites attach to the outer surface of their bodies and suck body fluids.

In contrast, endoparasites attack the internal body organs of the praying mantis and consume the water content of their bodies for hydration and nutrients for survival.

Accordingly, they undergo severe illness after losing body fluids as their chitin layer turns to a hard structure after severe loss of moisture and hemolymph.

Poor ventilation

Inadequate airflow to their cage makes them prone to attack by pathogenic organisms. Poor ventilation leads to an increased humidity level and creates a moist environment.

They prefer to live in moist habitats, but excessive moisture disturbs their activity patterns and increases the risk of exposure to mold or fungi.

Accordingly, humidity buildup inside the cage leads to exposure to these harmful micro-organisms that can also cause sickness after direct contact with their bodies.

Physical injuries

It is common for wild organisms to get ill due to injuries because they are susceptible to predator attacks. They lose forelimbs or sometimes hind legs while fighting for defense.

Accordingly, they suffer from physical injuries and become ill if the injuries are severe, leading to survival stress. Sometimes, injured bodies bleed and result in excessive loss of body fluids.

In addition, other physical damages to exoskeletons can make them vulnerable to germs and other infectious particles in the air.

The outer covering or exoskeleton protects them from the external environment, but any damage makes them prone to injury and illness.

Stressful conditions

Stress affects the health and lifespan of living organisms because they cannot survive under threat. They are solitary insects by nature and prefer to live alone.

It is challenging for them to live an active lifestyle in crowded places when you add more than one mantis in one cage. They begin to fight, and the smaller ones usually get sick due to fear of attacks.

In the same way, they also go through severe stress when you do not humanely approach them. Long-term stress leads to a weaker immune system and makes them susceptible to illness.

How to tell if a praying mantis is sick?

It is not difficult to identify a sick praying mantis, it behaves differently than a healthy fellow regarding activity rate and patterns. It stops moving or jumping inside the cage due to discomfort.

Some do not interact with their owners and sit quietly in the corner. The eating behaviors also change when they are not feeling well and consume little food to ensure survival.

Digestive issues and food poisoning affect their eating patterns because their stomach cannot digest the food, creating problems.

So, you have to identify the symptoms by yourself and try to treat them at home, but a dying mantis also shows these symptoms.

You can consult an entomologist in such a case as they can quickly identify the problem based on their experience and suggest an appropriate treatment.

However, a few common symptoms of a sick mantis are that it stops moving and eats less than usual, indicating that something odd is happening to them.

How do you treat a sick praying mantis?

You can treat sick praying mantis by providing care and attention to their habitats and improving their living conditions. It is essential to replace water every day to reduce contamination.

Dirt, excreta, and other micro-organisms accumulate in the bowl and contaminate water, leading to sickness. Remove dirt and debris from the cage floor to improve hygiene.

In addition, it is better to discuss this with an entomologist before offering any food to them because they can guide you about the safe options for food. This way, you can prevent the ingestion of harmful insects.

Moreover, increase moisture level by placing a humidifier close to the cage if there is less humidity. In the same way, you can also mist their cage by spraying water on the cage walls.

Provide sufficient food and water to the starving or dehydrating mantis to avoid the risk of illness. A healthy and active insect is less prone to infection than those with a weaker immune system.

You can provide comfort by placing a sheet of paper on the cage floor after cleaning it thoroughly. This way, there are fewer chances of foot entanglement with the wires while moving inside.

They need proper care in captivity, and lack of attention can make them sick when you do not fulfill their basic needs of food, water, and hygiene.

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