Do Praying Mantis Bite?

Well, praying mantises are not generally known to bite humans, not at least the way other insects like spiders do. Mantises do not carry any venom so even if they do bite their sting might not be dangerous to humans at all. It’s true that they do possess some of the weirdest eyes together with saw-like arms–they don’t seem to pose any threat to us. Ironically, perhaps should you be the size of a hummingbird or gecko you’ll definitely be on the praying mantis’ menu.

In fact, in many parts of the world praying mantises are bred in captivity and they do pretty well as pets. However innocuous they might be, you should always keep in mind that they are insects. And insects do bite! 

Do Praying Mantis Bite Humans?


Praying mantis predominantly feed on small animals like hummingbirds, lizards, flies or even spiders. They do not look up to humans as a potential food source or maybe they don’t see us at all. But if you place your finger closer to them just to invite them to sting, chances are that you’ll get a slight nibble. This is because mantis might see your finger as some kind of a prey animal and its minor bite will be a testing act. Nonetheless, you won’t get injured because mantis’ bite isn’t strong enough to pierce through your skin. You’ll do however see some bleeding. 

When Can Praying Mantis Bite You?

First, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of being safe from mantis’ attack because sometimes it so happens that during gardening your hand might come across a mantis’ head and it bites you in defense. However, praying mantis can also bite you if you provoke it.

A mantis can only bite if;

  • It sees your finger as a prey animal or predator.
  • You’re about 2 inches in length (just like mantis).
  • You provoke it.

Are Praying Mantis Dangerous?

Praying mantises aren’t dangerous like black mamba or scorpion but their bite can nevertheless cause pain though it only lasts a few minutes. You’d definitely feel like you’ve been bit. The praying mantis’ bite won’t cause you any allergic reaction. See in detail here.

What If a Praying Mantis Actually Bites?

If you’re bit by a mantis all you need to do is to wash that bitten area with some soap or water. It’s better to wash it with warm water to clean that wound. A few large mantis’ species may bite you in an unlikely fashion therefore, you must not underestimate the sting.

How to Avoid Praying Mantis Bite?

Maybe you’re living in a region where praying mantises are abundant. In that case, we recommend you to put on gloves especially while gardening. But don’t worry if you see mantis before it sees your finger you’ll avoid the bite. 

Mantises will lay egg sacs on just about any plant including long grass, wooded areas, or even near pipes. It’s better to touch these plants with gloves and not bother mantis. A praying mantis likely bites you if you attempt to challenge it.

  1. Always pick up the mantis from its back. And don’t forget to use the gloves even if it’s your pet animal.
  2. Always keep the mantis in an enclosed box.
  3. Do not bother mantis during its lunchtime.

Can you Hold Mantis in your Hand?

Yes, of course! Mantises are not scorpions. Although these insects have alien eyes you can definitely let it sit on your hand safely. All you have to do is to place your hand near it and the mantis will climb up your finger. However, if mantis shows no interest in climbing or it gets off quickly do not force it to stand on your finger. 

Final Thoughts

The large mantis species that can take on big prey, such as the Giant Asian Mantis (African Mantis), European Mantis, or Giant Asian Mantis, are likely to bite. A smaller species, or one that eats mostly flies, is less likely to bite large prey such as a human finger. Mantises are not aggressive at all.

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