In March, I ordered Praying Mantis eggs from Amazon. What arrived were 3 cocoon-like vessels full of mantis eggs. We placed one in the window-box, one in the dwarf pine tree in the front garden, and one in a large rosemary bush in the backyard. Last Friday I found little tiny mantis hatchlings perusing my window box!
Some are still emerging, others are crawling up screens, and some are getting down to business and hunting for bugs! The process was really just as simple as it sounds.
1. Find a place 2-3 feet above ground to hide the egg-case. This keeps ants & other carnivorous bugs away from the fragile eggs & hatchlings.
2. After 10 straight days of warm weather, they will emerge looking for something to devour.
As my garden expands, and we have fewer freeze days during winter, I find myself researching additional ways to keep the bad bugs at bay. Tonight we'll release ladybugs on the deck and front/back gardens. Though some will become food for the various spiders and growing mantis hatchlings, they'll get to work on the sinister gifts left by white moths as well as the onion aphids plaguing my neighbors unkept deck garden.
Good predator bugs are essential to an organic garden, and are a great science lesson for my little dude! I hope some mantis hatchlings & ladybugs make it into your garden this year, they're fun to watch and are the guardians over our harvest.