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Ants

Postby Tr0llzOr2490 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:58 pm

Hi, my yard where I grow venus flytraps is infested with ants. They usually crawl over it and get eaten by most of the traps, but the traps never open again then they start to turn black. Is this a problem for the plant?
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Re: Ants

Postby pieguy452 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:14 pm

It is normal for a trap to die once in a while during digestion, but it shouldn't happen all the time. Can you give us a little info on how you care for your plant? Things like how much light it gets, what kind of water you are using, what kind of soil it is in etc.
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Re: Ants

Postby Tr0llzOr2490 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:31 pm

It gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight everyday. Also, I use distilled water and it is currently planted in dead sphagnum moss.
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Re: Ants

Postby Veronis » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:56 pm

What kind of ants? If they bite/sting the inside of the trap, it damages the tissue in the trap and causes blackening of the area. The bug will still be digested, but the trap will not fully recover from capturing the prey.

Another possibility is that if you have only recently (in the last month, give or take) started growing the flytraps, they are not yet adjusted to conditions and will be much more prone to lose traps on new food captures, just as you described.

If traps that "sprouted" and formed while under your care (new traps) are having this issue, it's more likely the ants are damaging the trap after being caught.

Unless you haven't been growing the plant(s) very long, standard insect captures shouldn't kill every trap.

Keep your eye on it and send an update with specifics on whether every trap is dying, if new traps are dying or just old ones, and if only traps that capture the ants are the only traps that are dying.

This may just be coincidental with traps dying to make room for new trap growth, which is part of every flytrap's life cycle.
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Re: Ants

Postby Tr0llzOr2490 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:52 pm

The ants that they are eating are just regular ants, they just crawl around looking for food and don't sting or bite. I just bought this VFT two months ago and only the traps that catch ants die. So far, I only have 3 traps that work on this VFT now. One of those traps are new and has digested 3 spiders and it's still working. But, it keeps sending up flower stalks and I keep cutting them off. Is the flower stalk the problem?
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Re: Ants

Postby Veronis » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:57 pm

I can't believe I forgot about ants. Some flytraps (not sure whether it's more cultivar/conditions, or something else) can digest ants/beetles, etc. and many will react in the way you're describing.

If you google your problem, you'll see that a lot of people have had similar problems with ants.

If you fed that flytrap a beetle or something similar, it would probably turn brown/black as well.

At this point I would work to find a way (ant traps, etc.) to keep the ants away from the flytrap as much as possible. You could also put it on a stool/table and wrap the legs with something incredibly sticky that would prevent ants from climbing up.
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Re: Ants

Postby xr280xr » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:14 pm

Tr0llzOr2490 wrote:So far, I only have 3 traps that work on this VFT now. One of those traps are new and has digested 3 spiders and it's still working.

What do you mean by "working". If you mean closing when its triggered, are you triggering them yourself to test them (otherwise how would you know)? If so, you would be decreasing their lifespan which could be why they're dying while digesting.

Tr0llzOr2490 wrote:But, it keeps sending up flower stalks and I keep cutting them off. Is the flower stalk the problem?


If you're cutting them off, they shouldn't be causing any problems. My flytraps eat ants all the time and the only thing I've noticed is they tend to bleach out the coloration inside the trap where they were digested. Must be your specific ants, or your specific plant as Veronis said.
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