Will a Venus Flytrap Eat Fruit Flies?

Venus flytrap, botanically known as Dionaea muscipula, is a perennial carnivorous plant of the sundew family. They are called carnivorous plants because they usually trap and digest insects and small animals. Nature is amazing!

So if Venus Flytraps eat flies, will they stop a fruit fly infestation? Will a Venus Flytrap eat fruit flies?

  • The Venus flytrap will trap and digest a fruit fly if the trigger hairs pick up its presence, although that’s very unlikely due to the diminutive size of the fruit fly. 
  • If the trap closes while a fruit fly is present, the fruit fly could easily escape because it’s small enough to avoid becoming stuck. 
  • The Venus flytrap may be capable of eating a fruit fly, but certain factors make this a rarity and a futile endeavor. 

Venus flytraps are often thought of to combat fruit flies, but this carnivorous plant usually fails to hold its own against fruit flies. It is not a viable option for controlling a fruit fly infestation.

Fruit flies are just too small to constantly trigger the Flytrap’s trap. It will often ignore fruit flies.

This article discusses how the Venus flytrap catches its prey, and why this method may not work well with fruit flies. We will also discuss some alternatives to deal with a fruit fly infestation effectively. 

Will a Venus Flytrap Eat Fruit Flies?

Although Venus flytraps rarely eat fruit flies, they will eat them if the opportunity presents itself. Venus flytraps are one of the least effective carnivorous plants that can be used to control fruit flies. 

Fruit flies are often too small to trigger the Venus flytrap’s senses. Even when they do trigger the senses, the Venus flytrap often allows them enough time to escape.

Fruit flies are often too small to trigger the Venus flytrap’s senses. Even when they do trigger the senses, the Venus flytrap often allows them enough time to escape.

Venus fly traps like flies the size of house flies, horseflies, green flies, etc. Fruit flies are tiny in compariosn.

How Does the Venus Flytrap Catch Its Prey? 

Like all carnivorous plants, the Venus flytrap attracts flies and other insects by producing sweet smells. When a fly lands on the Venus flytrap, it unknowingly sends a trigger by brushing against one of the plant’s sensory hairs. 

This action alerts the plant of its presence. If the Venus flytrap gets another trigger within 20 seconds, it automatically closes its trap with the insect still inside. 

Upon catching its prey, the Venus flytrap begins a process of digestion. Its digestive glands secrete digestive enzymes that perform three major functions: 

  • Aids in dissolving the soft parts of the insect.
  • Kills bacteria and fungi attached to or inside the insect.
  • Breaks down the insect to extract the essential nutrients.

The nutrients extracted during this process are absorbed into the leaf between five to twelve days after capturing the insect, after which the trap reopens to “excrete” the exoskeleton of the insect that it couldn’t digest. 

The Venus flytrap stops capturing prey after three or four meals to photosynthesize. This process usually takes three to four months. 

The Venus flytrap stops capturing prey after three or four meals to photosynthesize.

When this process is done, the Venus flytrap will again start trapping insects and digesting them as it needs their nutrients to survive and make up for deficiencies in its environment. 

A Venus Flytrap Can Eat a Fruit Fly, But Can It Catch One? 

Although Venus flytraps can consume fruit flies, it doesn’t happen often. The Venus flytrap’s size puts it at a disadvantage in the capture of fruit flies. 

Sometimes one has to turn to other carnivorous plants and pest control methods to manage and control the infestation effectively. 

Because fruit flies are small insects (typically about 3 mm in length and 2 mm wide) and also quite fast, the Venus flytrap’s trigger hairs, which number three to six on the surface of each leaf, are typically not triggered by a fruit fly. 

The relatively small size of the fruit fly makes it difficult for their actions to trigger the Venus flytrap’s hairs, which will lead to their capture.

And even if a fruit fly is present on the Venus flytrap’s leaves and happens to trigger the trap’s closure, the fruit fly can easily remove itself from this dicey situation thanks to its size and speed.

The fruit fly enjoys the sweet-smelling nectar on the Venus flytrap’s leaves, without alerting this carnivorous plant to its presence.

End result: the Venus flytrap is not a good predator for this prey. 

Alternative Ways to Handle Fruit Flies

If you have a fruit fly problem, there are more efficient solutions that can eliminate them or reduce their population significantly.

These solutions include:

Carnivorous Plants Solutions

  1. Sundews. They possess sticky tentacles that trap insects that land on it.   Getting multiple sundews will significantly reduce the population of the fruit flies until the cause of the infestation is found and eliminated to be rid of them entirely. 
  2. Mexican butterworts. This plant uses sticky, adhesive leaves to lure, trap, and digest insects. Insects attracted to them are immediately stuck when they land on this plant, making them effective in capturing fruit flies. 
  3. Nepenthes Pitcher Plant. This plant has pitcher-like structures that contain digestive enzymes that drown insects that tarry too long while feeding on their nectar. They can capture multiple insects depending on their size. 
  4. Sarracenia. Sarracenia plants (also known as trumpet pitchers) have tall pitcher-like leaves. They capture insects with sweet nectar and have the capability to capture multiple insects. Unlike other carnivorous plants, the Sarracenia can trap insects of any size. They work best outdoors owing to their need for direct sunlight. 

Other Pest Control Solutions


The Venus flytrap will and can consume fruit flies, but they don’t catch fruit flies often due to the size of the fruit fly. Venus fly traps are amazing plants, but they’re not good fruit fly hunters.

If you need to keep out fruit flies, look to the alternatives suggested and get rid of your fruit fly infestation!