Do Venus Fly Traps Eat Gnats?

If you’ve noticed more gnats, flies or mosquitos around your home recently you may be wondering if your venus fly trap can get rid of these irritating bugs, and in this article we have the answer for you!

To put it simply, a venus fly trap can eat gnats, as well as flies, mosquitos and a whole range of insects depending on how healthy the plant is! You should always place your venus fly trap in direct sunlight and close to where the bugs live.

In this article, we’ll go into further detail about venus fly traps being adequate pest control, other carnivorous plants that eat gnats, and answer some other venus fly trap related questions!

So Do Venus Fly Traps Eat Gnats?

It’s a common myth that venus fly traps only eat flies. Venus fly traps eat a wide range of arachnids and insects like ants, beetles, crickets, flies, grasshoppers, spiders, and worms.

Venus fly traps can help you cut down on the bugs in your home, and gnats are no exception. But there are a few things to consider before feeding gnats to your venus fly trap.

The Size Of The Gnat

Gnats are small insects, and are normally between ⅛ to ¼ of an inch. Because they are so small, gnats can easily escape from a venus fly trap.

How Many Traps The Plant Has

Venus fly traps can only eat a certain amount of bugs at one time. Venus fly traps have 3 to 10 traps, so the maximum amount of bugs they can catch at a time will depend on how many traps they have. However, it’s unusual for the plant to fill up all its traps.

How Quickly They Digest The Gnat

It takes venus fly traps a few days or even a few weeks to consume its prey. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect a venus fly trap to eat gnats every day (But does anything eat Venus Fly Traps? Find out here).

Prey Selection

Venus fly traps make use of prey selection when eating. For example, they will sometimes release smaller prey as they determine the advantages and disadvantages of trapping and digesting their prey.

Can Venus Fly Traps Help With Bug Control?

Do Venus Fly Traps Eat Gnats?

Yes, venus fly traps can help decrease the bug population in your house. However, it won’t help you with all types of bugs. They will only control the bug population of the arachnids and insects they are able to consume.

Venus fly traps only consume bugs that they can ensnare in their traps. For example, large beetles or cockroaches are often too big for venus fly traps to eat. However, flies and other flying insects like gnats are the ideal prey.

Plus, venus fly traps can only consume so much prey at a time, and it takes a while for a venus fly trap to consume and digest its prey.

Can Venus Fly Traps Become Infested With Gnats?

Yes, they can become infested with gnats. The larvae of gnats can harm venus fly traps as they can eat the leaves of the plant. Fungus gnats grow indoors, and they are particularly fond of very moist environments.

Therefore, they will make their home in the most soil of venus fly trap pots, and getting rid of them can be a challenge. The best approach to getting rid of fungus gnats is to repot your venus fly trap.

Firstly, you remove the soil altogether, before inspecting the plant for eggs, larvae, or pupae. Then you can repot the plant.

Other Carnivorous Plants That Eat Gnats

Mexican Butterworts

These are carnivorous plants with adhesive leaves and stunning flowers. When an insect lands on a leaf or walks across them, they will get stuck on the leaves.

They will struggle on the adhesive, but this only tends to get them stuck more and this will trigger the glands on the leaves. The glands seep out enzymes and start digesting the insect.

Butterworts are passive carnivorous plants, meaning they do not select their prey or release them on purpose.


These plants trap their prey in sticky hairs on their leaves, and they also have large tentacles that protrude from their leaves, with a sticky gland on the tip. However, sundews draw their prey in with nectar. First, the insects will stick to the tentacles.

They will then wrap around the insect and hold it tight. Lastly, the sundews will produce digestive enzymes.

Both of these carnivorous plants use adhesive leaf or tentacles to trap their prey, meaning that how big the gnat is will be irrelevant. Since gnats are flying insects they will be instantly caught when they land.

Final Thoughts

While carnivorous plants aren’t the ultimate solution to bug infestations in your garden or home, it can decrease the bug population on a minor level. For reducing the number of gnats in particular, we recommend sundews and Mexican butterworts.

While venus fly traps eat gnats, they are not natural gnat controllers. Plus, gnat larvae can do a lot of damage to seedlings and young venus fly traps. Therefore, it’s important your more fragile plants are not vulnerable to gnat infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Does A Venus Flytrap Need To Eat?

Venus fly traps need to eat every one to two weeks. If the plant is placed somewhere where it can catch its own prey, it will eat enough to remain healthy.

But if the plant is indoors and has little access to bugs, then you will need to supplement the diet of your venus fly trap.

You should consider buying freeze-dried or live worms and crickets from your pet store to feed your venus fly trap when there aren’t enough bugs around for it to catch itself.

What Happens If A Venus Flytrap Closes On Nothing?

If something comes into contact with the fly trap and it closes without prey to digest, it won’t begin the digestion process. Rather, it will open up again with no issues after 24 hours and will be ready to trap some prey again.

It will not damage the venus fly trap if it closes on nothing. However, it is a good idea to not touch the fly traps to avoid them from opening and closing when it’s not needed as this can deplete the plants energy.

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