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My baby mantises are dying, please help!

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by jmsf, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. jmsf

    jmsf Arachnopeon

    Hey all,
    I found a praying mantis in my backyard last summer and decided to keep her as a pet. She was really cool and ended up laying multiple oothecas. One of them hatched unexpectedly on Valentine's day and I've been taking care of a bunch of her babies.

    Recently some of them have started dying unexpectedly- I found them at the bottom of their containers. I'm not sure why because they have been eating, drinking water and molting like normal, and they still seem strong and active. I am feeding them flightless fruitflies that I purchased online. I wash their containers regularly to rid it of dead fruit flies and replace the sticks and leaves, in addition to misting all of them. They all have their own separate containers.

    Does anyone have any ideas what is going on? Poor little guys :( I would be really bummed if I lost them all, I've been giving them a lot of care.
  2. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoking Active Member

    Has anyone been smoking near them? Cigarette smoke kills mantids fast. Also any other fumes of any sort?

    Are you sure the leaves/sticks haven't been exposed to any pesticides?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. jmsf

    jmsf Arachnopeon

    My parents smoke outside in the backyard, the mantises are kind of near the back door. Could smoke from their hands/coats affect the babies? I don't think there are any other fumes and I'm pretty sure the bush we use for sticks and leaves is clean, but we've decided to use the bush the mother mantis hung out on from now on since she was fine hanging out on it.
  4. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoking Active Member

    It's more likely they've smoked with the back door open and the smoke has entered the house.
  5. jmsf

    jmsf Arachnopeon

    Thanks, I'll make sure that they are careful about that from now on. Do you think it could be anything else? Could the insects I'm feeding them be contaminated or something? Could it be the soap or cologne I use? We have 9 left and I don't want to lose any more.
  6. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoangel Active Member

    If you give feeders carrots then give them to the mantis, the mantis can be poisoned. Because you're using fruit flies though I doubt that's the case, but it's something to keep in mind for the future. If you clean the area around them or the room they're in with chemicals that come in a spray can, it's also possible that some of the chemical floated it's way over to the mantis and poisoned them. I dont think your cologne should be a problem unless you're spraying it in the same room as them on a regular basis.
  7. proserpina

    proserpina Arachnopeon

    I realize this is a little late, but mantis nymphs are prone to dying unexpectedly. You can try your best but some will still pass away - hence why so many of them are laid to make up for the high mortality.

    It sounds like you're doing the best that you can and they're in good hands :) Don't stress too much about it. Sometimes mantises die even with the best care.