Home Diet & Eating Habits Do Praying Mantis Bite?

Do Praying Mantis Bite?

It won’t be wrong to say that the praying mantis is as innocuous as any other stick insect. Mantids rarely bite humans and when they do the bite is completely harmless. Mantids do not carry any venom at all. Praying mantis has undoubtedly some of the creepiest eyes with saw-like arms–but they are almost entirely docile creatures. Should we be the size of a gecko or a hummingbird then we’d probably fall prey to mantids. Mantids make pretty good pets if they are fed properly. But they might possibly bite you sometimes after mantids are insects too. 

Do Praying Mantis Bite Humans?


Praying mantis predominantly feeds on small animals including lizards, small birds, reptiles, spiders, flies, not to mention hummingbirds. Needless to say that humans were never the part of mantis diet simply because we are just too big for them. In fact, mantis couldn’t even see us. However, if you provoke a captive mantis they’d probably nibble you but that isn’t a bite at all. Maybe you do not feel that nibble. They do see our finger as a potential threat that’s why mantis would respond as a bite. The praying mantis’ bite isn’t strong enough to pierce our skin but it can definitely cause 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?

Mantises aren’t bad at all. They are pretty smart-looking insects. If you see one you’d probably feel like you’re seeing them for the first time. They are primarily recognized by their green papyrus wings along with long bodies not to mention their tiny chests. If you happen to see mantis’ eyes closely you’ll see that their pupils do not move like ours. They have got those alien-like eyes which can be defined as constellation of black dots.

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. However, you do not need to be scared of them at all unless you’re a male mantis. Yes, that’s true, female mantis not only bites the male she eats it all soon after mating. The female mantis does not bite the male’s head off with one swift nip, in fact, she eats the head like an apple which is definitely not a good sight at all.    

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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