Praying Mantis in House: Causes + How to Remove Them

There are several myths about finding a praying mantis indoors. Finding them in the house can have a positive or negative interpenetration depending on traditional believes in a community.

In our modern society, a praying mantis is just a pest like any other. In case you hate them, myths and traditional practices should not keep you from getting rid of them. You can remove mantises from your house without killing them because they are not dangerous.

Can a praying mantis hurt you?

A praying mantis in the house is harmless to you. Their bites are not a threat to humans or pets in any way because they are not poisonous. A praying mantis does not produce any venom that can hurt you.

Praying Mantis in House, Causes and How to Remove Them
Praying Mantis in House, Causes and How to Remove Them

With that in mind, you can easily grab one with your bare hands and take it outdoors. An adult praying mantis can mean to be scary because of its big eyes and long front legs. This is why many will always wonder if they can bite or sting.

When a praying mantis accidentally comes into the house, it gets scared of humans. A mantis may throw its front legs aggressively to scare anything that approaches it. They do so because when they are in the wild, there are other creatures that feed on them.

Any mantis is humble towards humans when gently approached. If you are gentle on them, they will play nice. However, they are not inteligent enough tell if you are human or animal.

Causes: What attracts a praying mantis into the house?

Mantises will fly into the house through open windows and doors at night when lights are on. Those that cannot fly will crawl into the house especially if there is a gap under the door. Here are some of the reasons why a praying mantis will come into the house:

1. Insects

They feed on insects and that’s one of their major attraction. Praying mantis can be beneficial indoors because they will hunt and kill flying insects like moths, mosquitoes, and flies. They can even overpower roaches, thanks to their strong front legs that can hold and trap their prey.

Most insects are attracted to light and a mantis will come indoors while trying to catch them. They come indoors when the lights are on with insects around them. Moths are one of their favorite meals and since they like staying indoors, the mantis will always chase after them.

While indoors, the praying mantis can be easily spotted because they do not hide in dark areas. They are good hunters and they will chase after their prey without any fear. If you are not scared of them, let them chase and eat their preys.

Here is a table of what the praying mantis will eat when it is indoors and outdoors:

What praying mantis eat in the houseWhat praying mantis eat outdoors
1.House fliesBees
2.MosquitoesCrickets
3.CockroachesHummingbirds
4.BeetlesGrasshoppers
5.antsAphids
6.Little house lizardsTiny frogs

2. Warmth

Mantises prevail in warm environments that are moist. When it is too cold or extra hot outside, they will seek shelter indoors. It is a coincidence that other insects that they feed on like the same environment.

A praying mantis can comfortably live indoors if the house is warm, humid, and full of insects. Those conditions combined under one roof will make a perfect habitat for them. Mantises prefer your kitchen or bedroom because the possibility of finding insects and warmth in those areas is high.

When they happen to find a way into your bedroom, mantis will go to your drawers or under the bed. Those are the areas where they are likely to find other insects that they can feed on. At night, you may find them crawling into your bed if they see bed bugs or roaches in your bedding.  

3. House plants

As much as mantises are insectivorous, they can feed on pollen that is produced by flowering plants. Flowering houseplants will attract them to your house. They will land near the flowers to wait for insects that feed and suck on nectar. Insects on plants like aphids are part of their natural diet.

Indoor flowers that bloom through out the year will attract and keep mantis around them. They are naturally green in color and this makes them blend and hide well in house plants as they wait for insects.

As much as the praying mantis can eat pollen that is produced by flowering indoor plants, it is the insects that will keep them around your indoor plants. They can attack and eat cockroaches in potted plants that hide at the base.

They hang around houseplant to get hydrated from the moisture produced. A house plant is always warm and moist depending on its position and this provides a good habitat for the praying mantis. They will drink water from the leaves just like they do when out in the wild.

Can praying mantis lay eggs in the house?

Praying mantis can lay their eggs inside the house as long as they find a hidden place that is warm and moist. They lay in warm corners, at the base of curtains, under the furniture or bed. The eggs have a case that appears to be foamy. This is designed to protect and keep them warm.

In most cases, the house temperature is always regulated between 74-79°F and this is perfect for mantis eggs to survive and hatch. Immediately the young ones are out, they will be all over the house trying to find food.

It is easy to find and locate their breeding places where they have laid eggs because when matting, the female cuts the males head off. The female will also die soon after it has laid eggs and you will find the body in where the eggs were laid.

How to get rid of praying mantis in house

They breed indoors in large numbers and can be a bother. A simple way to catch a praying mantis is to gently grab it from behind and take it outside to its natural habitat. If there is an infestation, you may need to get rid of praying mantis indoors

1. Soapy water

Soapy water is deadly to praying mantis because it can irritate their eyes cause instant damage. The mantis eyes are wide and vulnerable because they are exposed. Soapy water blocks and irritates their sensory nerves. It can suffocate and choke the praying mantis to death.

Soapy water is a safe efficient way to get rid of a praying mantis. Mix 0.25 pints of warm water with 0.5 pints of dawn dish detergent in a spray bottle. Spray this in areas where you don’t want to find them. If you want the mantis dead, aim and spray the mixture directly on it in large quantities.

2. Turmeric powder

Praying mantis hate the smell of turmeric and this will repel them. Simply spread or sprinkle turmeric in any area where you do not want to find them. To deter a praying mantis from potted houseplants, make a turmeric spray. Here is how to do it:

  1.  Put 2 tablespoons of turmeric in a clean bowl
  2. Add 3 ounces of warm water and stir to mix (don’t use hot water)
  3. Let the mixture cool for 30 minutes and shake to mix
  4. Pour the solution in a spray bottle
  5. Spray this on the plants to repel and keep praying mantis and other insects away

3. Sweet orange

All insects including the praying mantis cannot stand the scent of the sweet orange. Mix 5 drops of sweet orange oil with 1/4 cup of warm water and spread the mixture where you want to deter them. Alternatively, you can make a natural sweet orange solution at home using those steps:

  1. Peel  2 sweet oranges and Crash the peels in a bowl
  2. Add 8 ounces of hot water and mix to blend well
  3. Let the solution sit for 1 hour so that it is well mixed
  4. After it cools, pour it in a hand sprayer
  5. Sprinkle it in places that you always find the praying mantis to deter them

4. Bug sprays

Almost all bug sprays will deter and kill praying mantis if sprayed close enough. If you just want to deter them, you can spray from a distance. They will flee at the smell of it. Bug spray can deter and irritate their eyes.

In most cases, people just want to keep a praying mantis away if they do not like them. Those insects are harmless and there is no point in killing them. If you can keep them away, that will be better. Praying mantis can also help in getting rid of little noisy frogs outside.

Reference:

  1. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign: Praying mantis egg cases
  2. Scientific American: Praying mantis eating a bird