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Is It Illegal To Kill A Praying Mantis?


See, there is this creature that each one of us should have seen at least in all kinds of movies, sitting there with its front legs folded, as if it were praying. And this not only makes these creatures look very interesting when they are in their prayer stance but simultaneously makes them excellent hunters. It is said that in the United States, it is considered kinda illegal to kill a praying mantis. Really? Well, let’s try to find out a bit more about what is true and what is not about this interesting type of bug.

Is It Illegal To Kill A Praying Mantis

What Even Is A Praying Mantis?

These critters actually look pretty neat, with their long bodies, pointy heads, and long front legs that they fold up like they are praying. They are not very picky eaters and will eat most insects, but in some cases, they will even eat small lizards and birds. Because they eat a lot of pests, they’re actually pretty helpful to have around in gardens and on farms.

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Legal Status of Praying Mantises in the United States

You will probably hear that it’s illegal to kill a praying mantis, but you would believe such a statement, wouldn’t you? In the entire United States, there is no such law that would declare an act like that. That is just a notion that has been going on for quite some time now, that it is against the law, but honestly speaking, it does not have any basis as far as real rules or regulation is concerned. We looked at plenty of reliable sources, and pretty much all of them say the same thing: you’re not going to get in trouble for killing a praying mantis.

Origins of the Myth

But just where did this whole idea come from, that a praying mantis is really unkillable? It’s hard to say for sure, but it does seem like it started somewhere in the 1950s. Maybe they kind of looked like they were praying, or maybe it’s because they ate the other pests. That’s a story that gets started somehow and it just keeps on going long after everyone knows it’s been around forever and there’s no truth to it.

Ethical Considerations

Believe it or not, it’s not against the law to kill a praying mantis, but there’s a huge “but” here with our morals. These little creatures do so much good for us, feeding on pests that might ruin their crops or gardens. So, when you think of popping one, keep in mind the good work they do. They are like natural controllers to the pests.

Conservation Status

Now, on a worldwide scale, praying mantises aren’t on the list of animals we’re in danger of losing anytime soon. But, what is important, in some places, these critters make a big deal, since they play their unique role, or because there are not many left. But yeah, some states may even have rules about not hurting specific types of praying mantises.

Wrapping It Up

So, the whole thing about how you can actually get into trouble if you kill a praying mantis in the States? Yep, that’s an absolute myth. But looking closer, we do realize that this is more to be understood here than just mere rules.


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