Check out the TB2K CHATROOM, open 24/7               Configuring Your Preferences for OPTIMAL Viewing
  To access our Email server, CLICK HERE

  If you are unfamiliar with the Guidelines for Posting on TB2K please read them.      ** LINKS PAGE **



*** Help Support TB2K ***
via mail, at TB2K Fund, P.O. Box 24, Coupland, TX, 78615
or


Pests/Ctrl Organic bug control - Do praying mantis really WORK?
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,875

    Organic bug control - Do praying mantis really WORK?

    Has anyone imported/purchased praying mantis for their garden for pest control? Do they really work well?

    I am at my wit's end this year. After a mild winter, and warm, humid, rainy summer, the bugs are seriously trying to take over.

    The cabbages are so holey I can see through them, the picnic bugs are so thick they are now damaging healthy fruit. You can spend 3 hours a day in the asparagus plot tapping both kinds of asparagus beetles into cups of soapy water, the cucumbers are one swarming mass of cucumber beetles and squash bugs (the squash bugs have already killed off one beautiful zucchini, a pumpkin, and 2 pink banana squash vines!), and I barely have time this summer to keep things weeded, let alone hand plucking all of the bugs!!

    So I am polling every place I can think of about how effective praying mantis really are. They will be first on the purchase list next spring if they really do work!! Also, anyone have other ideas for bug control besides hand plucking? Chickens/other poultry in my main garden will not work, as it is right next to the neighbor's house, and they are lawn snobs with lots of beautiful landscaping and MULCH. Not ready for a neighbor battle over scratched out mulch...... haha.

    Basic garden info (Maybe something like this would be nice to all to all posts in this forum?)
    USDA Zone: 5a
    Average last frost: May 20th
    Average first frost: Oct 6th
    Soil pH: 7.8
    Soil type: Heavy Clay
    “Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
    "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - J.K. Rowling "Remember who the real enemy is." - Suzanne Collins "Winter is coming." - George R.R. Martin

  2. #2
    Sadly, no.

    I mean... individual mantises definitely do eat insects, but when a case of infant mantises hatch, the first thing they do is start eating each other! The survivors disperse rapidly, leaving- at most- half a dozen in your garden.

    Every year seems to give different challenges. This year, for us, it's Japanese beetles. I've hand picked literally quarts of the things.

    For squash beetles (the big gray things) the only thing I've found to work is heavy layers of DE spread around the base if the plants, plus checking for egg clusters (squishing them by hand when I find them) on the underside of the leaves. If you start EARLY... when the plants only have 2-3 sets of true leaves, you can often ward off an infestation. Chickens won't touch them, BTW.

    For stuff like cabbage and other crops thst don't need pollination, covering them with Reemay fabric works best. You can also cover your vine plants for the first couple/few weeks (until they start to blossom) with Reemay, which at least slows down the infestation, and often ends up making the bugs go elsewhere for their summer home.

    Summerthyme

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post

    For stuff like cabbage and other crops thst don't need pollination, covering them with Reemay fabric works best. You can also cover your vine plants for the first couple/few weeks (until they start to blossom) with Reemay, which at least slows down the infestation, and often ends up making the bugs go elsewhere for their summer home.

    Summerthyme
    I would add that there are a ton of parthenocarpic and Gynoecious varieties of many crops. So polination isn't always necessary.


    For me this year cucumber Beatles were to excess to say the least. Aphids were better than average so it all works out. For those growing outside.. Next will be late blite, gray mold, and downey mildew... too much rain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    11,317
    We've been raising Praying Mantis for several years now. We started raising them because we had also heard they help control bugs. Now it's more of a fascination. We probably hatch several thousand and end up with less than 100. When we see them hatching we try to move them to other parts of the yard and garden areas.

    We have not noticed a reduction in bugs generally speaking. Sure wish they'd go after the no-see- ums which we didn't have until last year. We have noticed an almost absence of fleas and ticks. I don't think that is because of the Mantis, could be, I don't know for sure. They don't seem to help reduce the spider population either.

  5. #5
    We use spinosad at work.
    "This place is fantastic! It's like "Gone With The Wind" on mescaline. They walk imaginary pets here...and they're all heavily armed and drunk..."
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

  6. #6
    CycloneMom... what occurred to me as I was picking blueberries this morning is that for long-term organic insect control, you need to find a way to encourage the good, insect eating birds to make your place a home.

    That means Purple Martin houses (if they live in your area in the summer), and bird houses that will house tree swallows or bluebirds (most of the bluebird houses we've put up have been taken over by tree swallows, but we don't really care).

    Every morning, our barn swallows swoop over the garden and eat a ton of cucumber beetles and other flying insects. They also keep housefly and mosquito numbers down significantly. For many years, we haven't had to spray any insecticide in our barn until Mid-August, which is when the nesting swallows fledge their last brood and start flocking up to take off for warmer climes for winter. The difference in fly numbers after they leave is really pretty shocking.

    I also have several different kinds of herbs whose flowers attract parasitic wasps... Angelica archangelica and Lovage are the two main ones. When they're in full bloom, the flowers are absolutely covered with tiny blue wasps... these are the type that lay eggs in the larva of many different insects... the wasp larva hatch and consume their host. (mother nature is NOT exactly all flowers and peaceful deaths!)

    Summerthyme

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    573
    We used them two different years. First time we bought one pod later in the season and it hatched, but we never noticed any in our garden. Second year we bought pods very early in the season (early March) and we noticed a dozen or so hanging out. Later in the season we still had one or two (that we could find). We continued to see one here and there for a couple of ears after that (which may not be related to us releasing them).
    Please PM me if interested in a Mutual-Assistance Group in Central Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Riding my Harley
    Posts
    3,944
    We have them here in Florida, but they don't seem to be able to keep up with the bugs. Gecko's have gone wild here too now, and they help a bit, but just too many bugs.
    Patriot Guard rider
    www.patriotguard.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    5,694
    Quote Originally Posted by Firebird View Post
    We have them here in Florida, but they don't seem to be able to keep up with the bugs. Gecko's have gone wild here too now, and they help a bit, but just too many bugs.
    In all my many years of living here I never saw a gecko. I had to look them up online to even find out what they were. Now they are all over the place and I guess they are nocturnal. They seem to hang out around the outside door lights and in the shed. Haven't seen any black widows either since they took up residence in my yard. From the amounts of poop they leave behind they must be doing a terrific job.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts


NOTICE: Timebomb2000 is an Internet forum for discussion of world events and personal disaster preparation. Membership is by request only. The opinions posted do not necessarily represent those of TB2K Incorporated (the owner of this website), the staff or site host. Responsibility for the content of all posts rests solely with the Member making them. Neither TB2K Inc, the Staff nor the site host shall be liable for any content.

All original member content posted on this forum becomes the property of TB2K Inc. for archival and display purposes on the Timebomb2000 website venue. Said content may be removed or edited at staff discretion. The original authors retain all rights to their material outside of the Timebomb2000.com website venue. Publication of any original material from Timebomb2000.com on other websites or venues without permission from TB2K Inc. or the original author is expressly forbidden.



"Timebomb2000", "TB2K" and "Watching the World Tick Away" are Service Mark℠ TB2K, Inc. All Rights Reserved.