Hundreds of praying mantises found in woman's Christmas tree find new homes


    Fairfax County resident Molly Kreuze had hundreds of praying mantises dangling from the ceiling and crawling on the windows.

    “I think they are gone I hope they are gone," said Kreuze.

    One week later, only one is left, which Kreuze captured with Stacie Mooney, her friend and the bug’s new foster mom.

    Mooney agreed to take on the 100-plus praying mantises, which hatched last week from an egg case Kreuze found in her Christmas tree.

    “I was like, ‘I’ll take them’ and I kept thinking I have friends who have kids," said Mooney.

    Mooney is giving the critters to science teachers and parents who want to play science teachers — like her.

    "It’s become better than television in my house. We sit and watch the praying mantises, um, they are actually really fascinating to watch," said Mooney.

    Since our story aired last Friday, the mantises almost doubled in size.

    "They are much harder to catch, because as they get bigger they can jump further and they are faster," said Mooney.

    While the bugs grew, so did interest in our story, which went viral.

    “I just think it’s a silly story and has a happy ending for 70 to 100 buggies," said Kreuze.

    A happy ending — for the mantises and for Kreuze.

    “I do believe they have all found a home with Stacie," said Kreuze.

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