Of the many weird and wonderful carnivorous plants that can be found on our planet, there might not be a species as well-known and hyped up as the Venus fly trap, found natively only in North and South Carolina.
These little plants are famous for their ability to eat just about any insect that they come across, from spiders and ants to even some flying insects like flies. They’re pretty versatile carnivores, especially for a plant!
All of these sound like great foods to feed your own Venus fly trap that you may be growing in your house. However, boxed-up spiders and ants might be a little tricky to get a hold of.
And if you aren’t prepared to go around your home or back garden to catch them, you might be left with very few options, if any.
However, there is one type of food source that you may have readily available, especially if you live by a bird or exotic pet shop. Especially if they have mealworms stocked!
In this guide, we’re going to show you why meal worms are such a prized pet food, and what other kinds of food might be a good idea to feed to your little carnivorous.
And, of course, we’re not just going to show you if you can feed your Venus fly trap mealworms, but why you would be crazy not to!
Can Venus Fly Traps Eat Mealworms?
So, before we get any deeper into this topic, it’s probably worth clarifying whether or not meal worms are even safe to give your little meat-loving plant. After all, you don’t want to feed them something they can’t digest, right?
Fortunately, this isn’t an issue that you need to worry about. Mealworms are safe to give to your Venus fly trap as food. Mealworms are a fantastic source of protein and other vital nutrients, making them great food for a ton of carnivorous animals.
It’s why they are such a popular food source for many exotic pets such as birds, rodents, and reptiles. Heck, they’re such a rich food, they’re even great for humans to eat if you’re looking for food that has an incredibly high amount of protein per pound or kilo.
(Though we can’t promise that they’ll taste great on their own, unfortunately!) Plus, mealworms are great foods for carnivorous plants and animals because of their ease of handling.
Not only are they easy to grow and cultivate, but they’re also very easy to pick up and feed, thanks to their slow speed, and can easily be placed in the jaw of your plant. And because they’re so slow, there is next to no chance of your plant missing this easy catch!
Dried Vs. Live Mealworms
When selecting mealworms for your Venus fly trap, you’ll have two main options that will be available to you: dried mealworms, and live mealworms. Each one comes with its pros and cons that are worth keeping in mind.
Dried mealworms are exactly what they sound like, dead mealworms that have been dried and preserved for better storage and longer shelf life.
Of course, these mealworms being dried and preserved means that you’ll be able to feed these mealworms to your Venus fly trap for much longer than live worms. No need to worry about this plant food dying off when it has already died!
Not only that, but these mealworms are often much easier to get a hold of than live bugs, as they are often sold in many garden and plant centers as a type of animal feed for birds and small insectivores.
So you won’t struggle with sourcing them for your plant. Plus, you’ll also be able to save quite a lot of money when it comes to buying these guys in bulk, costing a fraction of the price that live mealworms cost for the same amount.
There are a few drawbacks to this food source, however. Dried mealworms have a much lower moisture/water content than live mealworms (obviously), so your plant will be missing out on some vital nutrients that they will otherwise still need through other means.
Not only that, but your Venus fly trap might struggle to close and eat these dried foods more than living insects. The hair mechanism that causes the plant to close and digest its prey responds to living animals, rather than simply any movement inside the plant.
These are mealworms that are usually sold as live food for exotic pets like lizards. They’re usually sustained on some type of bran or oatmeal food so that they survive a little longer.
As you would expect, live mealworms are much closer to the kinds of animals that Venus fly traps typically eat, making them very suitable food for your plant. They will be able to trigger the trap mechanism in the plant, so you’ll be able to guarantee a catch.
Plus, with much higher water content and nutrients, these mealworms are much bigger and healthier for your fly trap in the long run. You can easily feed one or two of these, whereas you would otherwise use 3 dried mealworms.
Because this is a live food item, you’ll find that this is a noticeably more expensive option when it comes to feeding your Venus fly trap. And, of course, there is the issue of shelf life when it comes to living food.
Even with a good feed, well-cared-for mealworms aren’t likely to last more than a week at most, compared to the weeks or even months of their dried equivalent, which can further increase how expensive live mealworms are for your fly trap.
Final Notes – How Good Are Mealworms?
So, overall, what is our rating for mealworms as food for your Venus fly trap?
Well, compared to many other insect foods out there, mealworms are some of the most readily available to buy and upkeep.
Especially when compared to living critters such as flies and crickets, which have a reputation for being a little harder to manage and control. Whether you go dried or live, mealworms are great for these carnivorous plants!