Aphids on Venus fly trap is a shocking scene because of the nature of the plants, but it happens. The plant closes when an insect touches its sensitive sensory hairs, but aphids are too tiny to be trapped inside.
Sweet plant sap attracts insects, but there are many ways to eliminate them. Continue reading this article, and you will learn the reasons they show up, and how to eliminate them.
- What Are The Reasons To Have Aphids on Venus Fly Trap?
- How To Get Rid of Aphids in Venus Fly Trap?
What Are The Reasons To Have Aphids on Venus Fly Trap?
The reasons to have aphids on venus fly traps are because of the presence of tender leaves, the presence of ants, and the plant showing weakening and stress signs. In addition, it can also be because of the wind, warm temperatures, seeking refuge, and weeds growing in the surrounding.
White bugs attack your Venus flytrap plants because they are attracted by the leaves’ red color and the sap’s fruity smell. The plants use this sap as bait to attract insects, but they close and digest them once the insect lands on the leaves.
– Presence of Tender Leaves
New plant leaves are soft, tender, and easy to feed on by insects, so aphids look for freshly produced leaves and shoots. The destructive insects prefer these soft leaves because they feed on plant sap, and their tiny and soft mouthpieces cannot pierce through old, rigid leaves. They will target the soft leaves, and since they are still tender, they will weaken so fast as they absorb the nutirents.
Venus trap plants are carnivorous, and they feed on insects that come into contact with the sensitive hairs in the leaf, but aphids are exceptional. They are too tiny to be trapped and consumed by the plant, and this is why they will attack the newly shooting leaves.
The insects, therefore, take advantage and suck on the fly trap’s sap. While feeding on plant sap cannot kill the plant, it can weaken it with time. Weak Venus trap plants cannot catch insects and could die due to the lack of essential nutrients.
– Presence of Ants
As aphids enjoy the plants’ sap, they leave a sweet honeydew. Ants like feeding on honeydew because of its sugary taste, and since they know that aphids are the producers, the ants are the ones that would safeguard the aphids by following them everywhere to protect them from predators.
When ants come near your carnivorous plants, they can carry aphids, and they will also have a relationship and work in harmony together as they weaken the plant. The aphids attack your plants, and since they don’t feel the wrath of Venus fly plants, they continue to feed on their sap, causing weakness.
– Stress and Weakness of Plants
Even though Dionaea muscipula are carnivorous and feed on small animals, stress and weakness reduce their ability to close the leaves. Weak plants have soft tissues which are easy to feed on, so they attract insects like aphids, fungus gnats, and spider mites.
Venus fly trap plant weakness can be due to insufficient nutrients, inadequate watering, and poor soils. Watering problems include overwatering and even when they are dehydrated or watered less, which reduces the effectiveness of the roots to transport minerals to the entire plant, causing plant weakness.
The best venus fly trap care is providing the plant with all the growth requirements, like water, and planting it in acidic soils. Also, discourage children from forcing the plant leaves to close by touching the sensitive hairs with their fingers. The constant leaf closing can finish the plant’s energy to catch flies and other insects, leading to a lack of the nutrients it gets from animals.
– Presence of Wind
Have you ever thought of wind being a cause of aphids and spider mites on Venus’s fly traps? These insects are tiny and easily blown by the wind. If they land on your Venus traps, they become a nuisance.
What happens in such a case is that the wind that blows may have blown away some aphids that may have infested surrounding plants or weeds that they were present on. In this case, they will land on the carnivore plant and this way, they can begin to harm it as well as infest on them greatly.
– Warm Temperatures
Another reason there are tiny black bugs on Venus fly trap plants is because of the warm temperatures. Aphids thrive in high-temperate zones, where they reproduce faster.
Venus trap plants also grow in warm climates, exposing them to aphids. This is because they would try to find the right atmosphere to grow when it is their growing season and laying their eggs and if the plant has any damages and they would target this away.
– Seeking Protection From Predators
The lack of predators causes aphids to multiply their populations, which can lead to a heavy infestation. These beneficial insects reduce the aphid population by feeding on them and destroying their eggs before hatching.
Since the insects threaten aphid lives, they chase them from the garden as they flee to save their lives. They will try to find haven around the Venus plant’s surrounding.
However, these beneficial insects cannot survive in areas with fly-trap plants because they become hunted. A slight touch on the plant’s sensitive hair causes the leaves to close and digest the beneficial insects. And since aphids know they are safe from beneficial insects in areas with Venus traps, they move to these areas and create new habitats.
– Weeds Growing Near the Plants
Aphids are attracted to plants with big leaves because they hide under and inside them. These plants are primarily weeds that can grow anywhere, including near your flytrap plants. If you are wondering, ‘Why are there bugs in my Venus fly trap soil,’ check if there are aphid-friendly plants nearby.
How To Get Rid of Aphids in Venus Fly Trap?
To get rid of aphids in Venus fly trap, pick the insects, spray them with water, and keep any affected plants away. You can also use insecticidal soap, use neem oil and ensure that you grow aphid-repelling plants, use pesticides, and try to prune the affected parts.
You can use chemical methods like pesticides and insecticidal soap to eliminate aphids, but choose the recommended ones for venus flytraps. Also, keep the affected plants away to protect the healthy ones from an infestation. If the infestation has caused massive damage to the plant, prune the damaged parts.
– Pick the Insects
The most natural method to control aphids on flytrap plants is by picking them from the plant and killing them. But the plant closes its leaves when you touch the sensitive hairs, so how will you pick the insects without causing any damage to your plant in the long run.
Use a brush or tweezers instead of using fingers to remove the aphids. Once you get the pests, crush them with your fingers and dispose of them away from the plants. You can also burn the dead aphids to avoid a re-infestation.
– Spray With Water
Aphids are tiny and weak and will easily be swept by water in high pressure. You can use a hose pump to water the plants, but ensure you first set it to a high-pressure setting. Aim the water on the affected areas by aphids to sweep them away.
You can also dip the plant in water for two hours. The insects will fall off the leaves and drown. The water also causes suffocation of aphids, reducing their population on Venus trap plants. However, although water works for eliminating aphids, use only a little of it since it leads to root rotting, which can weaken the plant.
– Keep the Affected Plant Away
Another way to remove Venus’s fly trap pests without chemicals is by isolating the plants. When aphids attack a plant, they can hop to the other quickly, even before the previous plants’ sap dries.
Isolating the healthy plant free from insect infestation protects it from the attack. It also ensures that the insects have limited food, meaning they could migrate or die once they finish feeding on the current plant. In addition, make sure that you would relocate it if there are any gardens nearby with weeds.
When isolating the healthy plant, keep it in an area where it can receive all the growth conditions, including sunlight. The isolated plants are easily forgotten and can die due to a lack of essential growing needs.
– Use Insecticidal Soap
How bad has the aphid infestation on your Venus traps become? If the insect population multiplies, you can use a firmer control method like insecticidal soap. The soap covers and suffocates the insect bodies, and can be applied using a spray pump.
When you spray soapy solution on aphids, it also dehydrates the insect, killing it. The soap is inexpensive because it is made at home by mixing dish soap with water. However, the present chemicals scorch the plant leaves, causing wounds. You should therefore rinse the plant leaves to remove the soap and protect them from the harshness of these chemicals.
– Use Neem Oil
Other fly trap growers prefer neem oil over other aphid control methods. The oil does not have side effects on the plants and stops aphids and other insects from feeding on the leaves by acting as a repellant.
When you spray neem oil on aphid bodies, it covers the outer coat of the insects, causing suffocation. The oil also interferes with aphids’ hormones, making it challenging for them to reproduce, hence controlling the population; this way, you will see that they are being eliminated, as you repeat when needed.
– Grow Aphid-Repelling Plants
Aphids are attracted to venus trap plants but can’t stand some. For example, strongly scented plants like garlic, rosemary, and mint make these insects flee away, and you can use that fact to your advantage.
Growing garlic or rosemary next to your venus trap plants keeps them from nuisance insects like aphids. However, not all aphid-repelling plants are ideal companions for venus traps, so you must be keen on the ones that you are placing. Some are competitive with the carnivorous plant, making it weak and easy to attack.
– Use Pesticides
Pesticides are made with a mixture of strong chemicals to kill insects like aphids and are effective on large populations. You can spray your Venus trap plants with pesticides to kill the destructive insects, and the plant will start to grow again in the right and healthy way.
When choosing pesticides, get the ones made for venus trap plants to avoid more complications. You should also spray the chemicals after a few days until the insects die, and then you can take further measures.
– Remove Weeds Near the Plants
You could be having aphid attacks on your carnivorous plants due to weeds growing around the plants. If the weeds have big leaves, aphids hide under the leaves and continue to multiply.
Removing weeds near venus trap plants also removes any aphids around the area. The weeds compete for water and nutrients with the fly-trap plants, making the latter weak and more vulnerable to aphid attack. You can uproot and burn the weeds to completely remove the aphids or throw the unwanted plants far from where you have planted venus traps.
– Prune the Affected Areas
Sometimes insect infestation and plant damage can be too much to heal. If aphids have made a particular venus trap plant leaves their habitat, prune it to save the remaining leaves. Pruning also leaves the insects without food because the sap dries after a few days.
Once you prune the plant leaf, burn it to kill the aphids. Don’t forget to use clean tools when pruning plant parts to avoid transferring infections that can kill them. Also, use sharp knives and scissors when pruning to avoid leaving the plant with open wounds, which can attract diseases.
It seems impossible for aphids to attack flea-trap plants, but these carnivorous plants are also vulnerable to attacks. So here is a quick summary:
- The plants have a sweet, fruity sap that attracts aphids and insects. The plant leaves cannot trap aphids because of their size.
- You can remove aphids from flea-trap plants by washing them with water, using pesticides or pruning the affected parts.
- The aphid elimination method you choose depends on the size of the infestation and your preference.
- Gardeners mostly use natural methods like water and picking insects because these don’t have side effects on the plants. However, heavy aphid infestations require more effective removal methods like pesticides or insecticidal soap.
After reading this article, you are fully aware of the reasons why these pests are making the environment harsh for the plant to thrive, but you also are aware of the ways you can make them perish with ease.
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