Wait. Aren't praying mantises hot, yet evil, women who devour men like Xander Harris in that one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? And does that mean you're telling me I can purchase and hatch between 50 and 200 women out of a couple of thumb-sized eggs? For around $20? Dude. Sign me up. I don't care. I'll risk being eaten alive by one of them!
Damn. I see now that praying mantises--at least the kind sold on Amazon--are actually arthropods and territorial stalkers of insects. They will spend days tracking their prey, awaiting the perfect moment to attack, deliver a fatal bite to the neck, and savor each bit of their poor sap of a meal. So if you're looking for a bug who won't eat up your garden but who will destroy the bugs who will eat up your garden and who will use an exhilarating display of pomp and circumstance to do so, the praying mantis is your bugly man (though I'll still always think of them as human women).
An organic means of pest control, praying mantises can also work in tandem with ladybugs, which they won't stalk and kill. Because even cannibalistic killers like ladybugs. The listing here is for 2 praying mantis eggs, each of which promises to hatch 50 to 200 mantids that will crawl out from tiny flaps in the egg cases and hang from silken threads for a couple of hours until they're dry enough to take off--check out the above videos for a look-see into how that's going to play out.
To tend to the eggs after purchase, you can 1) attach them to a twig or plant--if you buy more than two, don't affix more than two per 3,000 square feet or 2) put them in a paper bag and fold the top so you'll know when they've hatched. For the second option, place the bag in a warm spot with direct sunlight, and periodically open it to see if hatching has occurred. Once the babies are amok, release them into the garden. Hatching can take up to 8 weeks.