Subject: Tre killing Weirdo Thing?
Geographic location of the bug: Los Angeles, CA
Time: 09:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello sir,
This weirdo cocoon(?) is on our Silver Sheen Pittosporum tree. We’ve been puzzled about it for a few months now. I woke up this morning thinking about it, I’m concerned that it might be harmful to the tree, as four of these trees have mysteriously died in the past year. Is this the culprit?
Thank you for your time!
How you want your letter signed: No, thank you.
This is the ootheca or egg case of a Preying Mantis and it is not responsible for the death of your trees. Mantids are predators that are often used by organic gardeners to control insect pests without the use of pesticides.
Your original request arrived when our editorial staff was on holiday and we never seem to catch up on requests when we are away from the office. We do not believe native California Mantids are a threat to either your Monarch or Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars, but Mantids will eat pollinating insects including Bees.
1 thought on “Mantis Ootheca”
You can buy Mantis egg cases on Amazon and many other places. They’ve been for sale for a long time. My mother used to buy ’em back in the 50s along with pints of lady bugs shipped under refrigeration. I don’t think either the mantids or the lady bugs did much to control the aphids on the rose bushes—they disperse very quickly—but my Mom got a kick out of ’em and I think that’s why she bought them.