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Thread: opening of the traps

  1. #1
    Hello, even though not necessary, i fed my fly trap a moth the other day.... the next day the trap opened and the moth was still inside....... how long should it take for the traps to open... is this normal?


  2. #2
    Hey Tiggs

    First WELCOME!!

    Whatever you 'feed' your plant needs to be alive. That might explain why it opened a day later.

    When the plant catches a live bug the whole process can take up to a week.

    The skeleton of the insect will remian, but the rest of it ( like the soft tissue ) will have been consumed.

    I hope this makes sense...:)

  3. #3
    why does it make a difference whether the bug is alive or dead?

  4. #4
    Have a seat, go get something to eat, rest room....

    When a bug lands in a VFT, there are little hairs that are on both sides of the trap. When the bug brushes against these hairs the trap will close...

    The bug will try to get out of the trap ( for obvisous reasons ) and will continue to brush these hairs.

    This is how the process starts.

    The trap will then start to release its enzymes and break down the bug.


    Now..... If these hairs aren't triggered constantly, the plant will assume ( don't ask ) that is was wind, rain, dirt, something that the plant will not 'eat' and will reopen in a day or so not doing anything to whatever was inside.

  5. #5
    OK so the bugs have to be alive, and they say a couple of bugs a month are good for growth. But how exactly do you feed a live bug to the plant.?

    And also--how do you tell when a plant needs transplanting? What is this stuff i read about special sand or perlite you have to buy for drainage?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    United Kingdom
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    The trigger hairs have to be stimulated once the trap has shut so that the plant knows it has caught live prey. It saves it from wasting energy trying to digest something such as a leaf which has fallen into the trap.
    To feed it prey, catch something and let it go on the plant. Spiders are good to try because you can try and coax them into a trap.
    You only need to repot a flytrap if it has become too large for the pot, or the medium it is growing in is too old and has lost it's acidity (which takes a fair few years). The other reason is if you have used tap water - a big no no! Visit for more information.

  7. #7
    Is there any bugs that shouldnt be fed to the plant in case of harm e.g. bites, stings, etc?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
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    There's a list in the VFT section the someone started the other day listing bugs that are bad for the traps.

    There is another way to feed a dead bug (but should be fairly fresh) to a trap, but you can do some damage and it takes practice. You can put the dead bug in, and trigger the trap with a piece of your own hair. Keep wiggling the trap's trigger hairs until the trap is almost closed, then pull out the hair. You can gently press the trap completely closed with your fingers - don't force it.

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