Can You Hold a Praying Mantis?

Many people keep praying mantis as pets at home and like to interact with them like other pets, but the biting behavior raises concerns about holding them.

Can You Hold a Praying Mantis? You can hold a praying mantis in hand to interact with your pet while training or feeding them food. You have to learn the correct way to handle their fragile body and prevent them from biting you. Bring your hand closer, allow the mantis to jump on your palm, take it closer to a twig or branch, and stroke its legs slightly to help it jump.

They have muscular bodies having no hard internal skeleton, so their fragile bodies and aggressive nature make it essential to deal with them carefully.

Why would you hold a praying mantis in hand?

Many people want to spend time with pets and like playing with them, so their primary instincts are to hold the pet in hand as it gives a feeling of close association.

Praying mantis look like aliens to some people, giving rise to a desire to touch and get closer to their bodies, so they try to pick them up in hand due to curiosity.

Moreover, it can be an excellent way to gain the trust of wild insects when you bring them close to yourself. You can make them familiar to your face by interacting with them frequently.

The wild species of these insects consider humans a threat, but they can become good companions when you spend time with and play with them.

In addition, these pets also like to be held by humans once they have developed a close association with their owners or other faces at the place.

I usually try to play with my pet praying mantis once a day by sliding my hand in front of it so it can quickly jump on it and walk on my palm.

You have to hold them in one hand while offering food by keeping alive insects in another hand for better exposure.

They show stillness and can sit quietly for many hours without showing movement. It makes them suitable for handling because there is a lesser risk of losing your pet due to motion.

How do you hold a praying mantis?

You have to understand the nature of praying mantis before holding them in hand because their razor-like mandibles and spiked legs can cause harm to you.

Moreover, their bodies are fragile due to a lack of a bone framework that can be easily squished when you pick them aggressively, resulting in death.

It is better to avoid picking them up using fingers because pinching their legs or abdomen can frighten these creatures, leading to aggressive bites.

Wear gloves to create a barrier between your hand and the insect to avoid direct contact with their teeth and skin to ensure your safety.

One of my friends has been bitten two times because he never bothered wearing gloves while getting closer to them, but now he focuses on safety measures before handling them.

You can take your hand towards the praying mantis cage by keeping your palm upward. This way, they feel free to jump on the flat hand without getting stressed by a pinch.

It is essential to avoid quick swapping of hands as abrupt movements can make them fearful of the hand, and there are rare chances for them to climb on the palm willingly.

In addition, stroke the rear ends of their bodies gently when they are not jumping, making them react; take a step forward and land on your palm.

The gentle and quiet movements of the hand are favorable as it helps avoid the biting behavior that can occur when these insects do not feel safe.

In the same way, you can make them move to the palm of another hand by bringing it closer if you are not holding food for them in it.

They need to be released in the same way as you have to avoid pinches while leaving them in a cage. You can bring your hand closer to their cage or a safe and solid surface like twigs.

After that, give a gentle stroke to their hind leg to make them jump forward and reach a solid platform in front of them by leaving your palm.

Things to consider while handling a praying mantis

You should consider these things when holding a praying mantis because incorrect handling can pose a risk of bites and even death of your pet.

Dealing softly with their fragile bodies is essential because they cannot handle aggressive grips. Pinching their legs can break them off and affect the viability of the wings.

You can wait patiently and give some time for your pet to land on your hand willingly, as forceful picking can result in an undesired situation.

In addition, you have to be closer to the ground or any other stable surface while keeping them in hand because wingless insects can fall and die.

I lost my mantis due to rough handling because it got a bad hit from the wired window when it tried to fly away, and I was standing close to it.

Moreover, you can sit on a surface like a sofa to ensure cushioned landings. Avoid quick hand movements to avoid the risk of falling, and stay close to the floor to ensure a safe landing.

Some people get frightened when they try to reach the shoulder and get closer to the ear or face, mainly when they know about the risk of bites.

You can put another hand closer to a shoulder to provide a platform for jumping so that their attention gets diverted from the face and make them hop on the hand.

There is no need to be afraid after seeing them on the shoulder, as some wise decisions can help deal with these pet insects better and keep them away from the face.

What type of praying mantis can you hold?

More than 2000 species of praying mantis in the world have varying behavior and level of aggressiveness, so the choice of handling needs to be dependent on the species.

Some smaller insects, like a European mantis, are pretty safe to hold in hand because they are naturally non-aggressive, but their bodies are fragile and must be dealt with carefully.

However, the bigger ones, like Chinese or African praying mantis, need more attention and care in terms of safety as larger species have bigger bites.

Some species, like budwing mantis, are highly aggressive, so it is better to skip the plan for such close interaction or consider the safety measures.

Moreover, it is better to deal with these pet insects by yourself and avoid releasing them into the palm of your children because they are not so sensible to deal with them.

There is a possibility of incorrect handling by children that can provoke them to bite. So, it is considered good that only adults interact with them and care for their needs.

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