Stink bugs smell awful. It is right there in the name. The whole purpose of this stench is to try and keep predators at bay. For the most part, it works. Does it work on the Praying Mantis, though? Let’s look!
Do Praying Mantis Eat Stink Bugs?
A praying mantis will eat just about anything that it can get its little arms on. They have quite an appetite, and they are a very ferocious creature. In fact, the praying mantis is more than capable of eating a bird if it wanted. This means that it is more than happy to eat a stink bug. The stink bug is probably going to be the perfect size for a growing praying mantis.
Now, there is no telling whether the praying mantis is actually put off by the smell of the stink bug. We can’t imagine that they are, because even when the stink bug is secreting the liquid that makes them smell, the praying mantis is still more than happy to tuck into them.
Due to the size of the stink bug, it is not something that could easily be eaten by a baby. A praying mantis probably wouldn’t be able to easily eat a stink bug until they are about a month old. That being said, stink bug babies can be consumed by praying mantis babies without too many issues.
Should You Feed Your Praying Mantis Stink Bugs?
While you can, we probably wouldn’t recommend it. They are called stink bugs for a reason.
While the praying mantis is probably going to put up with the smell, you really won’t enjoy the stench in your home. Sure, you could grab a couple of stink bugs and throw them in with your praying mantis, but they are going to smell so awful that you are probably only going to want to be doing it once.
Should You Release Praying Mantis Into Your Garden to Deal with Pests Like the Stink Bug?
A lot of people will release their praying mantis into their gardens. Firstly; the egg sack of a praying mantis will contain hundreds of babies. It is pretty difficult to raise them all, so a lot of people will release them anyway. However, the praying mantis is also brilliant for dealing with pests.
Let’s say you have an insect problem in your garden. Maybe you have an issue with some stink bugs. If you release the praying mantis into your garden, they will hunt down any of those invasive species.
Obviously, do make sure that you are not doing this if you live in an area that doesn’t normally have praying mantis skulking about. They could end up decimating the local ecosystem. In addition to this, you will not want to release a praying mantis if:
- The purpose of your garden is to pollinate i.e. it attracts a lot of bees. The praying mantis will kill them.
- You attract a lot of small birds. The praying mantis will kill them
If you can find no other way to clear up the insect pest problem in your garden, then introduce praying mantis to it. That problem will be cleared up in next-to-no time at all. It probably helps that the praying mantis is a fairly short-lived insect too, which means it probably won’t be hanging around for too long.
It is worth noting that many farmers have actually used the praying mantis to kill stink bug populations in their fields. This is important because stink bugs can be serious pests. If you are planning to do this with the praying mantis, then you must use larger versions of the insect. It ensures that they will not shy away from consuming larger stink bugs.
Will Stink Bugs Injure Praying Mantis?
The only real defense mechanism that a stink bug has is the ability to secrete a liquid that makes it smell. This liquid can also make them taste rather awful. If a praying mantis is willing to bypass that, then the stink bug is unlikely to injure them.
Yes. Animals can get sick if they eat a stink bug. This is just due to their secretions. However, this is really not going to be an issue for a praying mantis. They do not seem to be put off at all. This is indicated by the fact that a praying mantis will never shy away from a stink bug.
So, there you have it. The answer to the question ‘do praying mantis eat stink bugs?’ is a resounding yes. While you will probably not want to feed stink bugs to a captive population of praying mantis, the praying mantis will be a brilliant option for cleaning out pest populations of stink bugs in the yard or on a farm. They will eat pretty much anything.