The Praying Mantis, generally called mantids, is one of the most popular insects kept as pets. They come in different colors and sizes depending on species. Sizes range from less than an inch up to 6 or more inches in length.
Mantids are quite easy to take care of and just require a small space for housing. A glass tank, that is at least twice as wide and three times as tall as the mantid is a popular container for these creatures. If the tank is too large, the mantid will have a hard time finding its prey. They are also safe for kids and are even popular as live specimens in schools.
If you are planning to send mantids elsewhere, here are some tips oh how to properly pack and ship a live praying mantis to ensure that it arrives in excellent condition.
Prepare a small container that can comfortably accommodate the mantis. Disposable plastic containers with lids are ideal. Punch a few holes on the sides and lid of the container for ventilation.
Line the bottom of the container with a couple of layers of paper towels. Also line the sides with paper towels to provide a cushioned surface. Spray some mist of water inside the container but not too much to prevent the paper towels from getting soaked. Place a piece of twig and some fresh leaves inside the container where the mantis can rest but avoid overcrowding the container.
Spray the mantis with a fine mist. The water droplets adhering to its body will be enough for it to survive the journey. Then, place the insect in the container. Add a couple of small crickets, roaches or mealworms inside the container and put on the lid. Secure with tape but make sure that the tape does not seal the ventilation holes.
Place the container inside a slightly larger box with ventilation holes and a layer of crumped or shredded paper in the bottom. Fill the sides and top of the box with more fillers until there is no way for the container to move around. Close the box and seal with packaging tape.
Address and label the box and take to a shipping company. Use the fastest delivery option possible and avoid shipping near the weekends or holidays to prevent the package from getting stuck in a holding facility for a long period. Consider placing a cold pack inside the package when shipping during extremely hot or humid weather.