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  • Carnivorous plants as fruit fly control?

    We have had a horrible issue with fruit flies this season, and after trying for the last few weeks to keep on top of cleaning regularly, taking food containers out every morning, putting fresh in, putting fly strips up around the room, making fly traps with soda bottles....I had my sister pick up some pitcher plants and a octopus plant (Sundew) for me at a greenhouse (all the ones near us thought we were crazy asking for carnivorous plants!). I'm hoping that they help to control the problem! I seriously cannot WAIT until we move and have the dubia in a seperate room from the cresties, with more space to spread out and keep this issue from happening in the first place!

    Any thoughts or issues with the plants? They won't be placed in enclosures, just around the room.
    previously known as hermansmama

  • #2
    This seems like an extreme measure to actually implement. Most carnivorous plants live in bogs, which means you'll have to set up one or several bog gardens indoors to grow them. These aren't the easiest things to care for. In my experience with them, they either thrive or doe, there's very little middle ground.

    Also, are you sure they are fruit flies and not fungus gnats? If they're fungus gnats, your idea is bound to backfire. Fungus gnats require damp soil to breed, and are practically a by product of a healthy bog garden.

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    • #3
      I don't see how it could hurt if you enjoy the plants.

      There seems to be a lot of people with cresties and fruit fly issues this year!

      We had them in the reptile room and never had this problem before. My son changes out the cgd daily now because when he did it every other day he would find larvae already swimming in it (cgd). I was starting to think that the problem was something in our house, but now think that the problem was the cgd. The appearance of the larvae in the cgd was just too quick. We kept our extra powder in the refrigerator but now it is in the freezer.

      Our problem was virtually eliminated within a week of purchasing a new bag of cgd, pouring boiling water and bleach down every single drain several times (sinks, tubs, showers, even the washer), keeping any fruit we may have in the refrigerator and taking the trash out daily. Luckily my kitchen has a door to the garage so keeping the trash can out there is not that big of a deal.

      To try out my theory after not seeing any fruit flies at all for a week we mixed up a small batch of the old cgd and sure enough there was larvae swimming on the second day. I threw out almost a pound of cgd but would rather eat the money than see those darn flies everywhere! We are down to nine cresties though and still thinning the herd so will just buy small amounts of cgd in the future and hopefully avoid this problem

      Good luck with the plants. I never thought about trying those; my son probably would've loved that solution!

      ***The above posting is just my own personal experience with a bag of cgd purchased in Jan./Feb. of this year opened and kept in the refrigerator. Just because I chose to think the cgd is/was the source of the fruit fly infestation of our house does not mean that this is in fact the case. I did not have the bag tested and do not think or claim that any or all bags of cgd are riddled with fruit fly eggs.***

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      • #4
        I used to keep venus fly traps and loved them so I don't think I will have any problems enjoying the new carnivourous plant additions to our gecko room! I never thought to freeze the diet, I will also try that and see what happens...we do have an unopened bag so I will try it after we get rid of all the flies! It can't hurt to experiment with different control methods, so I think I will also clean all the drains and see how things end up with the (hopefully hungry!) new plants.

        I also appreciate your experience zeetwii, and will keep in mind the proper keeping of these plants.
        previously known as hermansmama

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        • #5
          I'm seeing a lot more this year too. I've put up the fly strips and such. As long as i change the food every other day, it's not too bad, but even one extra day and I see the larvae. My fiance is going to be thrilled that he'll have to take out all the food dishes after the second day I'm gone for shows LOL
          https://www.facebook.com/Creptileroom

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          • #6
            I'm not sure how well they'll work large scale but it's worth trying. I used to have small flies and other bugs in my large planted terrarium and I bought a sundew to control that and I haven't seen any bugs in there since. If nothing else you have new plants to enjoy.
            -Louisa
            Beachside Geckos
            My iHerp
            Facebook

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            • #7
              Most of these plants are very easy to take care of. I've grown them for 6 years.
              But this is an extreme measure like ZeeTwii said, just to get rid of fruit flies.

              Don't use venus flytraps. They require a dormant period for a few months and they do not like really high humidity unless the air flow is as good as outside. You can try drosera. They have sticky leaves and should catch quite a few but they aren't an insecticide. Try ones like Capensis, Filiformis, Intermedia 'Cuba', Spahtulata, Burmanii.

              Anyone who has had venus flytraps in a terrarium like cresteds, plants don't look well. They most likely are starving for light and are kept too wet and they probably look bad. These plants can't take too many minerals in their water. You can use reverse osmosis or distilled water. If you live in Oregon you may be able to use tap water.

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              • #8
                No worries pumpkin, I'm not putting the plants in the tanks with the cresties!

                So far so good! We have two pitcher plants, and two octopus (Sundew) plants, and the fly issue seems to be going away! The plants are happy and well fed! Granted, we are using other methods as well, but it definitely didn't hurt things!!
                previously known as hermansmama

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                • #9
                  Okay. Remember to give them a dormancy. Since your weather outdoors is too cold, you can cut the tops of the plants and put them in the fridge from november-mid march. Also, what fixture are you using?They do better with fixtures that replicate sunlight. T5 HO's are the best. Keep the T%'s around 12-16" away from the plants. They will be stronger and look better if they're grown outside. I think you should grow them outside(in a minibog so they don't freeze). Sugar water is a great trap for fruit flies. Caught a few like this today.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lora01fl View Post
                    I don't see how it could hurt if you enjoy the plants.

                    There seems to be a lot of people with cresties and fruit fly issues this year!

                    We had them in the reptile room and never had this problem before. My son changes out the cgd daily now because when he did it every other day he would find larvae already swimming in it (cgd). I was starting to think that the problem was something in our house, but now think that the problem was the cgd. The appearance of the larvae in the cgd was just too quick. We kept our extra powder in the refrigerator but now it is in the freezer.

                    Our problem was virtually eliminated within a week of purchasing a new bag of cgd, pouring boiling water and bleach down every single drain several times (sinks, tubs, showers, even the washer), keeping any fruit we may have in the refrigerator and taking the trash out daily. Luckily my kitchen has a door to the garage so keeping the trash can out there is not that big of a deal.

                    To try out my theory after not seeing any fruit flies at all for a week we mixed up a small batch of the old cgd and sure enough there was larvae swimming on the second day. I threw out almost a pound of cgd but would rather eat the money than see those darn flies everywhere! We are down to nine cresties though and still thinning the herd so will just buy small amounts of cgd in the future and hopefully avoid this problem

                    Good luck with the plants. I never thought about trying those; my son probably would've loved that solution!

                    ***The above posting is just my own personal experience with a bag of cgd purchased in Jan./Feb. of this year opened and kept in the refrigerator. Just because I chose to think the cgd is/was the source of the fruit fly infestation of our house does not mean that this is in fact the case. I did not have the bag tested and do not think or claim that any or all bags of cgd are riddled with fruit fly eggs.***

                    I had a similar experience actually, but it was a bag of CGD that I had opened and then forgot to refrigerate a long time ago. I think the flies just love the stuff haha. I had an awful time with the fruit flies last year but this year, so far so good.
                    "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message."-Steve Irwin​

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                    • #11
                      I was having a lot of problems with fruit flies as well. Finding them drowning in the CGD and in the water. I have found if I take the food out on the second morning then they don't have a chance to breed. I just got back from three nights away and found a bunch in Kiwi's terrarium! Ugh!! I hate fruit flies. I will stick to my 36 hour rotation and hope they don't come back.

                      0.1.0 Crested Gecko, Kiwi
                      0.1 Boston Terrier, Meko
                      3.0 DSH cats, Bubba, Tony and Jake
                      2.0 Guinea pigs, George and Stu
                      and many fish

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                      • #12
                        If i try terro fruit fly trap, it will work or not, anyone know?

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                        • #13
                          Don't know if it will work or not, but keep it outside your terrarium. Most likely it would be dangerous for your gecko.
                          Eileen
                          TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
                          Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TAD View Post
                            Don't know if it will work or not, but keep it outside your terrarium. Most likely it would be dangerous for your gecko.
                            Well, okay. I do it. Thanks

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                            • #15
                              Venus fly traps and Sarracena (probably spelling that wrong) aka normal pitcher plants (not tropicals) are from the east coast of the US. They need a cold dormancy period to grow properly. They are supposed to die down in the fall. Generally you put them in the fridge for a few months, then pull them out and go again. They want full sun and plenty of fresh air moving around. They grow in bogs, and should be kept moist (not soggy in standing water all the time). They need distilled water. If they aren't getting enough bugs, or you want them to grow quicker/better, you give them a tiny bit of fertilizer every so often.

                              The normal reasons they end up looking like crap are due to too many minerals in the water; they get dry before they are watered again-repeatedly; need fertilizer; or it's the end of the growing season and they are starting to die down for the winter, or not enough light. A planting mix loaded with nutrients will kill them too. Growers do use fertilizer to pump them up before they sell them.

                              Also, if the carnivorous plant is big enough, it can catch baby or small lizards. I saw a picture of a Venus fly trap with a baby fence lizard inside, all dried out. Pitcher plants are just big vases filled with digestive juices.

                              The biggest challenge to having them in a terrarium, would be figuring out how to give them the cold treatment they need to be healthy.

                              However, tropical pitcher plants, Nepenthes, do FANTASTIC in terrariums, as long as they have enough light. There are lots of kinds that have different requirements for temps and lighting, so you'd have to research the particular ones you're interested in to see what they need. But they don't need cold treatment to be happy. There are a few species of frogs that can actually live in the pitcher in the "juice".

                              The Savage Garden by: Peter D'Amato is all about all sorts of carnivorous plants. Habitat, history, how to grow and propagate. It's also cool because I actually live somewhat near the writer's carnivorous plant nursery.

                              A safe fruit fly trap would use apple cider vinegar and some water, with a few drops of dish soap. You could use the terro cup to hold it, or a 2oz deli cup with a piece of plastic wrap over the top with a bunch of holes poked in it, or some other container set up like wise.

                              Have a nice night

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