Mantids are among nature’s most elegant, efficient and lethal predators. But despite their movie-monster appearance and ferocious reputations, they make great garden helpers.
To satisfy their tremendous appetites, mantids catch and eat all kinds of garden pests, including scale, mosquitoes, aphids, black flies and leafhoppers. And the mantis is the only predatory insect that continues to feed after sundown. This makes it an excellent control for night-flying moths, too.
Mantids are very sensitive to chemical insecticides. So if you want to use mantids as part of an organic pest management program in your garden, use selective products, like Bacillus thuringiensis (for caterpillars) and insecticidal soap (for soft-bodied insects) when necessary.