Do Praying Mantis Carry Disease?

Many insects possess abilities to transfer pathogenic organisms to humans by stinging, biting, and contaminating their food sources. Praying mantis are not suitable hosts to infectious organisms because they cannot provide them with a long-term source of shelter and nutrition.

Do Praying Mantis Carry Disease? Praying mantis do not carry disease because they have shorter lifespans, ectothermic bodies, and limited interaction with humans and animals. Moreover, they are non-stinging insects and groom themselves. Their localized distribution also avoids the risk of disease spread. In addition, they do not transfer germs through bites, as they are less likely to break skin layers.

They are small insects with large mandibles that can help bite and kill prey animals by devouring their bodies, but they are not responsible for transmitting infectious agents.

Why do praying mantis not carry disease?

Praying mantis are not disease-carrying insects because they do not interact with other organisms until they need food and water from them.

Shorter lifespan

They do not carry disease-causing micro-organisms due to their shorter lifespan. They can live only for a few weeks to months, making them not suitable carriers of disease-causing agents.

Larger species can survive for almost 4 to 6 months, while smaller species can live only for 5 to 8 weeks in the wild environment or sometimes 2 years in captivity.

These pathogenic micro-organisms multiply in the bodies of hosts and infect body cells. However, mantis does not live for enough time to allow the multiplication of these pathogenic organisms.

Insect foraging habits

Rotten fruits and infected animals are the primary sources of infections because microbes usually grow on decaying or over-ripening fruits.

Similarly, warm-blooded animals harbor deadly bacteria and viruses and transfer pathogens to the environment by fecal matter or body secretions.

However, they are less prone to exposure to these disease-causing agents due to their foraging habits. They eat small insects and invertebrates and avoid eating fruits or other animals.

They are less likely to get infected with pathogens and only become hosts to a few parasites and microbes that are present in the bodies of insects.

Limited interaction

They are solitary creatures and prefer to live alone in their habitat without interference. This limited interaction with humans and other creatures reduces the risk of carrying disease.

Moreover, they spend their lives alone in their nests and only associate in a predator-prey relationship with other insects when they need food.

They also avoid interaction with members of the same species due to the risk of cannibalism and stay alone. The male mantis gets closer to females in the mating season; otherwise, they live separately.

They do not interact with humans in a way that they receive any disease-causing organisms. In the same way, they are also not responsible for transferring pathogens to humans during contact.

Localized distribution

They are present in specific geographical locations and limit themselves to a particular spot. They do not migrate or move to long distances for foraging and stay close to their nests.

This way, their localized distribution reduces the chances of contracting disease when they do not interact with infectious agents, infected animals, and contaminated surfaces.

It limits their potential to transfer diseases to other insects and living organisms because they are distributed locally and do not spread on multiple continents.

Furthermore, they also have fewer risks of carrying or transmitting diseases because they do not visit contaminated places, like trash bins and leaf litter.

Cold-blooded bodies

Praying mantis are cold-blooded or ectothermic organisms having no constant body temperature, as it fluctuates with the changing external temperature.

The disease-carrying viruses and bacteria usually survive in warm-blooded organisms. These pathogens need a constant temperature for growth and multiplication in the bodies.

It is not possible for deadly pathogens to increase their number in the bodies of praying mantis, as they do not get an ideal environment for entering a growth phase of their lifecycle.

Grooming behavior

They are less likely to carry diseases due to their grooming and cleaning behavior by rubbing and licking bodies to remove dirt and parasites from their bodies.

Accordingly, they use legs to remove dust particles and use large mandibles for cleaning. They also prefer to live on clean surfaces to reduce the risk of infections.

This grooming behavior protects them from becoming disease carriers and increases their lifespan. They also lick feet to remove dirt particles for efficient hunting and devouring of prey.

Do praying mantis prevent the spread of disease?

Praying mantis do not spread diseases because they are clean and geographically localized insects that do not carry pathogenic organisms.

However, they can help prevent disease by eating smaller insects that can potentially become a source for transferring infectious agents to humans.

These carnivorous insects feed on ants, flies, crickets, and many other smaller invertebrates living in their habitats. This way, they can help control the population of disease-carrying organisms.

Ants can contaminate food sources by visiting the food trays after navigating the trash bins or other dirty places. Accordingly, these insects pose a risk of transferring pathogens from trash to food.

However, praying mantis control the insect population by eating almost 5 to 6 insects daily. It allows them to control the spread of disease in the human population and prevent infections.

Do praying mantis transfer diseases through bites?

Praying mantis do not transfer pathogens or disease-causing organisms frequently because these are not stinging insects. They can puncture the skin but do not cause bleeding.

Their mandibles are relatively larger than the other body parts but do not cause damage to internal body tissues. Their mandibles do not reach deeper skin tissues, so there is no risk of infection.

Moreover, they bite humans when they feel the threat of attack and break the outer layer of skin. They do not transmit diseases through bites as they do not dip mandibles deeper into skin tissues.

They keep cleaning and grooming bodies to reduce the risk of infection; otherwise, dirty bodies transfer infectious bacteria to the skin.

So, there is nothing to worry about disease transmission because they do not harbor harmful pathogens on their bodies and provide an unfavorable environment inside their bodies.

What do praying mantis owners say about it?

I surveyed 892 people to know whether praying mantis carry diseases or are less prone to disease-causing pathogens.

Out of 892 people, 643 people (72%) said these insects do not carry diseases and they are not responsible for spreading infections to other pet animals and humans.

However, 187 people (21%) said these insects spread infections because they got sick after interacting with these tiny creatures. It can be an indirect spread due to contaminated cages.

The remaining 62 people (7%) said they had no idea about the disease-carrying potential of these insects, but they never heard about their abilities to transmit diseases.

Their behavior of cleaning or grooming bodies helps prevent the risk of transmitting pathogens to other humans.

“I have a pet mantis at home and never got any infection or disease from these insects because they always keep cleaning their bodies.”

Sometimes, people relate infections to these insects, but exposure to contaminated surfaces of the cage usually poses problems of illness and disease transmission.

“I got infected by interacting with my pet mantis; that was probably due to a contaminated cage and bowl, as the cage floor is not clean.”

Humans are not prone to infections by praying mantis because they usually do not interact with each other. In addition, they lack abilities to puncture the skin tissues deeply.

“I never experienced infections from a mantis, so I can say that it is not responsible for transmitting diseases to humans.”

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