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Ask questions about how to grow and care for Venus Flytraps

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By Handrail Pete
Posts:  311
Joined:  Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:31 pm
Hello, recently I've been feeding my traps mealworms because I read somewhere that they are a good source of nitrogen. I always sever the heads first because I don't want them chewing their way out of the leaves and damaging them, however.. the traps won't form a seal and then ants and other critters eventually swarm the traps and try to make off with the precious mealworm! And the leaves also go black and rot very fast from being partially open.

So my question is this: Is it okay to feed them live mealworms that have not been decapitated? Does anyone here do it?

Thanks in advance,
Posts:  880
Joined:  Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:16 pm
I have seen people on YouTube who fed their VFT's with mealworm, but I have no experience with them. Remember, the "meal" should only be 1/3 size of the trap.
By DontTazeMe
Posts:  58
Joined:  Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:22 pm
Feeding VFT has been a pain in the ass for me in the past. First, it cant be a lot of food, as the trap wont seal if it is and will die. Second, it needs to be alive, from what ive seen, in order to form that good seal. The constant triggering as the insect squirms causes the trap to keep activating and tightening as the trigger hairs get touched.

Some have gotten to feed their traps, but I havent succeeded. In general, if they are outside, they do fine on their own. But I have heard of other's successes by coming to trap every 30 minutes and tickling the outside, either with fingers or sturdy brushes in order to mimic a squirming bug
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By cjpflaumer
Posts:  682
Joined:  Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:55 pm
You can manually feed your fly traps dead insects by simply gently squeezing the trap after it shuts. I usually squeeze it every 30 seconds or so for 5 minutes then come back about 15 minutes later and squeeze again but it's usually sealing/sealed by then. I have been feeding the indoor fly traps freeze dried blood worms.

If the trap is large enough squeeze gently with fingers if it's small use tweezers very gently.
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By Handrail Pete
Posts:  311
Joined:  Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:31 pm
Yes, I also tried stimulating the outside of the trap in order to mimic a live insect's movements inside. The only problem is that after feeding perhaps 40 traps on 10-15 different plants it becomes too much work to keep track of them all. I have one mature plant that has caught 9 bees in the past month and I've never seen such rapid growth. Since the other plants are too small to catch the abundance of bees around here, I want to give them a kickstart as well and get them healthier
By usmcflykiller
Posts:  20
Joined:  Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:24 pm
I just fed mine a worn not too long ago to my biggest trap. She loved it and since it was alive the trap completely shut and It even created an air tight suction. I will feed her another one this week and so on until more bugs are around. I also feed them to my nepenthes. No problems here.
Last edited by usmcflykiller on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By stevelau1911
Posts:  175
Joined:  Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:53 am
LAKJP wrote:I have seen people on YouTube who fed their VFT's with mealworm, but I have no experience with them. Remember, the "meal" should only be 1/3 size of the trap.
If you are dealing with meal worms, maggots, slugs, caterpillars or other bugs which are 99+% water, shouldn't it be fine to feed them as much as possible? It's like eating

The reason is because they should still easily digest something that is almost completely water with a bit of protein vs something like a cricket which has a lot more solid mass.
By smabonham
Posts:  16
Joined:  Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:11 am
I also read that mealworms are a good source of nitrogen for VFTs and mine seem to be quite happy eating them but I have found it annoying to cut them to size and then massaging the traps afterwards to ensure a good seal.

I recently discovered that if left, mealworms pupate into beetles, but that pupa stage is perfect for reasonable sized VFTs. The pupa when touched will flick their tails but that is all they can do, so when you feed them to a trap, they don't bite or force their way out like the mini bulldozers live mealworms are and they flick their tails stimulating a good trap seal unlike dead or beheaded worms.

Also, if you catch them at the right stage, they have shed their hard outer skin, which the VFT always leave anyways.

The down side is you will have to keep a fair few worms to have a ready supply of pupa, as it's only a small part of their life cycle and over quickly but I'm thinking it's the way to go for my traps.
By Handrail Pete
Posts:  311
Joined:  Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:31 pm
That's a good point with the pupae. In fact, it's very simple to grow a mealworm farm. It can be done in a 5.5 gallon tank, or in something even smaller and you only need to put minimal attention to it. I used to grow them for a large collection of lizards that I kept and I had hundreds and hundreds of pupae. The mealworms will stay alive in a refrigerator for, in my experience, at least six months. If you want additional information just shoot me a pm or search online for growing mealworms.

The only bad experience I had was when I fed them to my Korean melody shark and wacky traps, both of which died promptly after the digestion process. But that could be because of the nature of their deformities.
By bvalente
Posts:  892
Joined:  Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:58 pm
I try meal worms I got from a local pet store. I keep them in the fridge so they don't turn into bugs.

I'll try about 2 traps on a plant and see how they like them. So far one typical does, the other 4 don't. I cut them so they're definitely only 1/3 the trap size, I guess the plant is just picky. The trap will seal up just fine, just never opens back up and turns black.

I just fed 1 trap on 2 of my young adult size Jaws. We will see. It's evening here right now and the trap wasn't quickest to close so it might not be hungry. Hopefully it likes it though.

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