Do Praying Mantis Eat Spider Mites?

Praying mantis are not friendly to other insects from the same or different species. Spider mites are common tiny pests in the garden belonging to the category of arachnids and cause severe damage to crops by extracting nutrients from the leaves.

Do Praying Mantis Eat Spider Mites? Praying mantis will eat spider mites whenever they get an opportunity because both insects are commonly found on plant leaves. The young nymphs are more likely to eat them by capturing their tiny bodies with raptorial forelegs and eat almost 6 to 8 mites in a day. They can effectively control the population of spider mites in the garden.

Some gardeners look for their natural enemies to control these spider mites in an environment-friendly manner and make use of predatory mites, and lady beetles to wipe them out.

Why do praying mantis eat spider mites?

Praying mantis have carnivorous diets and commonly eat smaller insects and animals to fulfill their energy requirements. They live on plants but avoid eating plant-based food items.

Similarly, spider mites are common plant pests that can attack a variety of plants, including some fruits and vegetable plants like blackberries, strawberries, and cucumbers.

It can also reach flowering plants like marigold and rose, severely affecting plant growth if not controlled. It feeds on chlorophyll and uses mouthparts to puncture the leaves and suck fluids.

The female spider mites can lay approximately 80 to 100 eggs and quickly increase their population after infesting the plant when they have plenty of food.

It seems not possible for a large population of garden pests to remain unnoticed by the praying mantis that is keeping an eye on every possible food source.

Accordingly, they attack spider mite infestations on plants that are known to make a web like a spider. This silk webbing protects from predators and ensures the safety of eggs.

So, the mantis has to make more struggle to get inside their silk web and engulf their prey because they are rich sources of protein, zinc, and folic acid.

How do praying mantis eat spider mites?

Praying mantis are considered bigger insects as their body length is around 2 to 5 inches, which can also extend to 6 inches for bigger species.

However, spider mites are relatively smaller in size and reach almost 0.95 to 1.22mm body length, which means they can hardly reach 1mm length on average.

It is pretty challenging for an adult mantis to grab such tiny insects and eat them because they cannot be captured using raptorial legs. It does not get fit between the legs due to its smaller size.

In addition, these tiny insects do not show quick movements; they look like moving dots when seen with the naked eye.

Accordingly, these predatory insects have to make less effort to reach their tiny bodies because they do not run out of sight in a short time like other prey.

Commonly, the adult praying mantis chooses bigger prey like grasshoppers and crickets that can be captured using spiked legs, and they like to stalk before attacking their prey.

However, the immature nymphs choose to consume the smaller prey animals that are easier to catch and do not put them in trouble while capturing.

So, this young mantis reaches spider mites sharing a typical habitat with them, and engulfs their smaller bodies to extract locked nutrients.

How many spider mites can a praying mantis eat in a day?

Praying mantis prefer to eat live insects and capture flies and crickets flying around the flowers or other plants for their fruits and nectar.

On average, it can consume 5 to 6 insects in one day, but this number can be increased according to their needs as their body needs more energy during mating season.

The female praying mantis eats more in the summer because starving insects cannot lay more eggs and consume their own babies or mating partner to overcome hunger.

Accordingly, the male mantis also eats more to make themselves fit for mating, as the female rejects unfit mates by decapitating them after mounting and during or after mating.

They can also eat spider mites, but their small body size allows mantis to consume around 6 to 8 of these insects in a day because a smaller number cannot meet their energy requirements.

Furthermore, the insects living in captivity has lower activity rate than those in the wild and are dependent on their owners for food, so their diet patterns are adjusted according to it.

Can you use a praying mantis to control spider mites?

Spider mites are responsible for causing damage to landscapes and gardens because they attack a large variety of plant species, including vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants.

These garden pests can destroy plants in the backyard as they commonly infest tomatoes, eggplant, beans, melons, lettuce, zucchini, and many others.

You can see mottled leaves with white or yellowish spots that can also give a completely bleached appearance in severe conditions when the number of insects increases.

Accordingly, it is essential to control their population when you see tiny spots on the leaves. There are chemical and biological methods to reduce the population of these pests in the garden.

You can use insecticides to get rid of these pests, or a high-pressure water spray can also dislodge these insects from the leaves.

However, some people prefer biological methods and get a praying mantis to control the rapidly increasing population of these tiny insects, as these carnivores can engulf them.

You need only one or two praying mantis to deal with a small population of spider mites because each insect can eat many mites in a day, and only one insect cannot meet their energy requirement.

It is a good solution to use biological control methods when the infestation is mild, as natural enemies cannot consume hundreds of insects to bring desired outcomes.

Furthermore, it is better to use chemical control methods if you want to control the heavy population of spider mites, as insecticides can wipe out a massive population in 1 or 2 treatments.

Will praying mantis eat spider mites eggs?

Praying mantis are predatory creatures and rely only on other insects for their nutrition because their dietary habits do not involve plant-based food items.

Accordingly, they can target every possible prey animals which can be easily captured and devoured. They have the potential to chop down animals that are 3 times bigger than themselves.

In the same way, they can also attack tiny insects like mites and get nutrition from spider mites sharing the same habitat at the cost of their lives.

These deadly carnivorous insects can swallow mites and their eggs instead of knowing that the bodies of prey animals are only a few millimeters long.

Accordingly, it can pose a threat to the overall population of insects by eating their eggs and wiping out the next generation from a particular place.

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