Praying mantises are often kept as pets. Some naturalists claim that a praying mantis is capable of recognizing people. With the proper care, a praying mantis can live for a year. To find a praying mantis, search in your garden, or buy praying mantis eggs here. The length of the cage should be three times as long as the insect, and the height should be about two to three times as tall. If the cage is larger than this, it can make it harder for the praying mantis to find its prey. Any cage smaller than this may be too cramped.
Place about an inch of moist soil in the bottom of the cage. Plants that match the color of the praying mantis pet should be placed in the cage, but do not overcrowd the area. Wire mesh is the best roof, as it allows fresh air into the enclosure. Praying mantis pets require warm temperatures between 70 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a reptile heating pad or light to control temperature. The humidity in the cage should be kept at 60%. Use a spray bottle to increase humidity. After spraying, praying mantis pets may drink the droplets of water off of the plants in the cage. A shallow water dish with a sponge can also be effective.
Praying mantises are purely carnivorous. Smaller praying mantis pets should be fed tiny insects, such as fruit flies and houseflies. Larger praying mantis food includes fruit flies, crickets, spiders, and other medium-sized insects. Fruit flies and crickets can be purchased at a local pet store. The more you handle your mantis, the tamer it can become.