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Praying Mantis - what should I do?

October 6, 2007

We just recently started getting visits from hummingbirds and today we spotted a praying mantis in the garden. He or she is bright green and about 5 inches long.

I read other messages on this site about them eating hummingbirds. I do not use insecticides and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to catch and relocate it, but I would hate for a hummingbird to be harmed. What should I do with this facinating but somewhat frightening creature?!

Comments (14)

  • dominidan

    riverterrace, I'm pretty new to this site and new to hummers also, but I have a funny suspicion that it's a very rare occasion when a praying mantis kills a hummingbird. You could probably use a long stick or broom handle, if you didn't want to touch it. We use to let them walk up our arms, when we were kids. Good luck and don't fear.

  • riverterrace

    LOL, thanks dominidan! The way it followed me with it's eyes was facinating but just a bit unnerving...I'm sure you are right - it won't eat me and likely not the hummingbirds either! It has disappeared anyway so I will just let nature take its course...

    I am thrilled with the variety of wildlife in my garden this year but just cautious after putting bird feeders in the same quarter acre as a butterfly garden - I didn't enjoy watching the birds devour the butterflies and I would hate to see the few hummingbirds get eaten! Can you tell I am new to all of this?! LOL

  • christy2828

    You could also blast it with your hose. Keep in mind, they are a beneficial bug in your garden. Christy :)

  • esrungg

    They do eat humming birds.....they are one of the few predators the hummers have

  • dominidan

    esrungg, I'm sure that they eat hummers, judging from the pics, but I think more info is needed before people go crazy. I'm not seeing a ton of pics showing hummers getting devoured by a praying mantis. I'm also wondering if this happens along with this vectoring, that people are talking about. What do you think?

  • buford

    Well I did have a huge black praying mantis hanging on the bottom of one of our hanging hummer feeders once. I knocked him off twice. The third time, he was relocated. Although they do fly so I'm sure he could come back.

    I will knock them off feeders, but if they are in the flowers there isn't a lot I can do.

  • rjinga

    I had a praying mantis living around an area where a feeder was located, and I never saw any trouble.

  • hummersteve

    riverdance--- a mantis can get very big and I think these are the one that are a menace to hummers. I had a mantis on my david verity late in the summer and removed it to the field across the street, he didnt come back that I know of . One year I found one on one of my feeders. These guys are very watchfull looking for an easy meal and are lightning quick with those front arm. You can pick them up grabbing them firmly along the middle of their body to remove them, they will try to remove your grip with their front legs, but cant get you if you have a firm grip. If you have problem with that put on a pair of gloves or a paper towel. These guys are helpfull in eating a lot of insects , but if I see them around my hummer flowers or feeders they get removed one way or another.

  • esrungg

    I agree with hummersteve. I have not had a problem with them.......but there has to be a reason why they hang out @ feeders and i dont think its for the sugar water .They are listed as a predator to the hummers i know that .

  • dominidan

    hummersteve, do YOU think that this particular hummer might have been doing that VECTOR thing when the death occurred.

  • hummersteve

    Im afraid Im not familiar with the term vectoring where hummers are concerned. I am familiar with the condition torpor that they sometimes go into, a condition resembling death which usually happens on nights when its unusually cold.

  • sidk

    My dictionary (very useful things - if you don't have one of these at home try dictionary.com) defines vector as a carrier of a disease or infection. The only other place I could find this word in this forum was in the hummingbird rescue thread talking about what rehabilitators specialize in. What in the world does this have to do with praying mantises and hummingbirds?

    Here is a link that might be useful: dictionary.com - vector

  • dominidan

    Does anyone, north of philly, have any hummers. I'm hoping to get another glimps before winter.

  • dominidan

    hummersteve , I'm sorry. I don't know where I got that word. Torpor it is. Do you think that the hummer was in this torpor state when the praying mantis attacked?

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