Insects, worms, Flies, and bugs are a common part of the venus flytrap’s food list. Among other common insects, ladybugs are also included. But there’s quite an obloquy about ladybugs. Like venus flytrap do not eat them, flytrap will die by eating them, etc. So today we are thoroughly going to seek an answer about whether venus flytraps eat ladybugs.
Venus flytraps eat anything that triggers the jaws to close. So if ladybugs got stuck in the trap they would surely become food. Ladybug is also on the preferable food list of the venus flytrap. But some gardeners suggest avoiding ladybugs if the plant is in a bad condition.
How do Venus flytraps catch prey?
Venus flytrap has an alternative way to take nutrition. That is their specially modified leaves which work as a flytrap. Flytrap is the most infamous carnivorous plant known to people. Their beautiful leaves ( which are mainly traps) seduce insects to land on them. Once landing tiny hairs on the surface of the leaves work as a trigger.
Then the jaws of the venus flytrap snap shut around the prey. Spikes on the edge of the leaves close all the possible ways of escaping. A closed flytrap works as an eternal stomach for the plant.
The surface of the leaves slowly produces digestive enzymes gradually that cause the prey’s soft tissues to digest. A few days later when the jaws open only the dry husk of the exoskeleton remains. Later the remains get blown away by the wind.
Do venus flytraps eat ladybugs?
Now, it comes to the main fact whether they eat ladybugs. Well, anything that gets stuck by its jaws, triggers the small hair on the surface, and gets surrounded by the leaves spikes becomes their prey. So if ladybugs are one of them they will surely turn themselves into flytraps food.
But the main concern is another matter.
Ladybugs have a very hard skeleton which is difficult to digest. This long digestion process will require excessive energy. So if the plant has been suffering from malnutrition for a long time, burning excessive energy will cause premature death. Longer digestion also has a greater risk for bacterial growth in the flytrap.
Some research shows that in life-threatening situations ladybugs can produce foul-smelling uric acid from their knee joints which stretches the digestion time. Researchers are not sure yet about this acid whether is harmful to the plant. But looking from the outside it does not look life-threatening.
If the flytrap doesn’t open for more than two weeks it will turn them black dead looking. So it is understandable that the main problem with the ladybug is digestion time. Note that if the plant is not going through any malnutrition problems it should be no problem at all with eating ladybugs.
So from a gardener’s perspective if you have been taking care of your flytrap nicely and the plant is in very good shape you can feed ladybugs to them. It won’t cause any problems. But if your plant is in bad shape feed other easy foods like worms and flies.
Things that should not be flytrap’s food
In native wise flytrap only eats insects or bugs. So other food like human and animal food is not suitable for them. Their enzymes can only digest a specific kind. It can not break down complex foods. As discussed before, an unsuccessful digestion attempt causes bacteria to grow. So avoid feeding them raw meat, fruit, cheese, any animal, sausage, candy, or plastics.
Though they specialize in devouring insects there are some bugs that are risky like snails, slugs, and caterpillars. Snails must be avoided because flytraps can not digest their shells. Slugs and caterpillars can eat plant leaves. In desperate situations, they can make their way out by eating the lid (jaws of a flytrap) if they get stuck.
Why go the hard way around? When you have these preferably easy options available at your hand flies, cricket, mealworm, bloodworms, gnats, ants, ladybugs, grasshoppers, and fish pellets.
Why do venus flytraps turn black?
We have mentioned that you may see the flytrap turning black after feeding them too much. Let me explain it. A venus flytrap has several flytraps on them. They each have an individual lifespan. A flytrap can live up to three months. When the time is over they turn black. It’s a normal case. This should not be a problem.
But if you feed all of the flytraps together, at the same time. It will take a lot of energy to digest them, there’s an even greater risk of running out of reserved energy. Sometimes feeding larger insects and harder skeletonized insects may cause this problem.
Hence, do not always feed them heavy foods.
Keep flies, and worms on their regular food list. They are easy to digest. Normally turning black of one or two flytraps does not indicate any problem. But if they are turning all together there might be some problems in growing methods, food lists, etc.
do venus flytraps eat dead bugs?
Yes, Venus Flytraps do in fact eat dead bugs. In addition to being a valuable carnivorous plant, the Venus flytrap is also known for its ability to capture and digest small prey items. This includes insects that have fallen victim to natural or man-made disasters such as floods or hurricanes.
The traps are actually quite simple devices made up of two parts: an inner saucer-shaped chamber and a snap closure mechanism on the top. When an insect falls into the trap, its weight compresses the plant’s cells within the chamber until they release digestive enzymes and break down proteins from the insect’s body.
Venus flytraps may face some difficulties in their lifeline. Like not in a very good condition, lacking nutrition, etc. At that time the plant should eat something that is easy to digest. Lady bugs have very hard skeletons. So digesting it may need some excessive energy. If your plant is already in low nutrition, it might not be a wise decision to feed ladybugs.
But as for other situations if the plant is in very good shape, and has been eating insects regularly then it should have enough energy stored in them to digest ladybug. It was for gardeners.
Now coming to native/nature, venus flytraps eat ladybugs with no problem. Because naturally, they get to eat insects from time to time. So it’s not a big deal to them for eating ladybugs.