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Do Venus Flytraps Eat Gnats?

Venus Flytraps

Venus flytraps are carnivorous plants that catches insects with a mouth-like trapping structure. Given this behavior, Venus flytraps are popular among gardeners who want to introduce a natural form of defense against garden pests. One question that gets frequently asked is whether a Venus flytrap can also help with a gnat infestation. Those who ask this question are most likely dealing with fungus gnats.

In theory, yes. Venus flytraps may eat gnats but if you are hoping that these plants will eliminate all of the gnat problems at home then that’s highly unlikely. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, most carnivorous plants are quite selective with their prey. With Venus flytraps, their prey is usually limited to beetles, spiders, and other crawling insects. Flying insects, like gnats, account for a very small percentage of their typical diet. This, however, is based on Venus flytraps in their natural habitat so it might be a bit of a different story for plants grown indoors.

It doesn’t hurt to have a Venus flytrap or two indoors to help deal with some of your pest problems but don’t rely on them exclusively. With gnats, especially the fungus gnats, you are better off with using methods like yellow sticky traps to eradicate the flying pests. It would also be much faster if you deal with the source of the problem. Gnats, for example, usually start to appear when the soil of the houseplants become a bit too damp.

Also, keep in mind that Venus flytraps require special care. They require very pure water to survive so tap water won’t do in most places. If you are willing to put the effort in to care for the Venus flytraps then it doesn’t hurt to care for a few of these plants at home.