You do not want this egg case hatching in your home, warns a Cleveland entomologist

Pretty commonly kids find and bring an egg case inside in the fall

You do not want this egg case hatching in your home, warns a Cleveland entomologist
A praying mantis egg case could contain as many as 200 eggs. If it warms up in your house, it can hatch.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -One of the world’s leading experts on the praying mantis is Dr. Gavin Svenson with the Cleveland Museum of Natural resources and he has a warning about the bug.

You do not want this egg case hatching in your home, warns a Cleveland entomologist

“They take the entire year to develop to become an adult and this is the typical time you’ll see them more and more in August and September,” Svenson said. “They’re trying to find a mate and they’re trying to find a place to lay their eggs.”

Which means now that it’s fall you can find praying mantis egg cases attached to tall grasses, bushes or tree branches.

“A lot of people will see this and think that it would be cool to kind of keep it in their house and maybe protect it. But really they belong outside because they are tied to the cold," he said.

The colder weather has killed off most praying mantises but it's their egg cases you need to leave alone and out of your home.
The colder weather has killed off most praying mantises but it's their egg cases you need to leave alone and out of your home. (Source: WOIO)

The mantis egg case is designed to survive the cold in Northeast Ohio and start the process over next spring.

But if you, or your child brought one inside ... you’re about to be invaded.

"So as it warms up in the house, they will think it’s spring and they will hatch out and you’ll have 200 babies zooming around in your house,” Svenson said speaking from personal experience. “As a kid myself, I have done this a lot. So my parents had this experience quite a bit.”

The colder weather has killed off most praying mantises but it's their egg cases you need to leave alone and out of your home.
The colder weather has killed off most praying mantises but it's their egg cases you need to leave alone and out of your home. (Source: WOIO)

The good news is they are harmless.

Even though this is the bug with a reputation where the female may eat the head off the male.

“Sometimes, not all the time," Svenson said. "They get a bad reputation for that, but it is totally documented.”

Editor's note: This content is part of a partnership between Cleveland 19 News and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Find more videos like this on Cleveland 19’s Roku and Amazon Fire apps.

What’s crawling in your house? Prowling in your backyard? What am I seeing through my backyard telescope? Did I really just see a bald eagle during my drive home? Are coyotes dangerous? Experts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History join us to set the record straight on Cleveland Natural – helping you better understand Northeast Ohio nature and providing tips on how to best share our region with our wild neighbors. Explore the wonders of science and nature at cmnh.org.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.