Our latest post on plants that eat fruit flies will unlock the secrets of the intriguing and unique world of carnivorous plants. From the Venus flytrap to the pitcher plant, learn about different species and their mechanisms for capturing and digesting their prey.

6 Plants That Eat Fruit Flies

Discover how these plants have adapted to thrive in their specific environments and tips for successfully growing them in your home garden. Take advantage of this educational and fascinating read!

Nature’s Pest Control: Plants that Eat Fruit Flies

1. Venus Flytrap

Venus Flytrap Leaves Trap

  • Leaves are modified to form traps
  • The traps consist of two hinged lobes lined with sensitive trigger hairs.
Specific needs
  • Nutrient-poor soil
  • Full sunlight
  • High-intensity artificial light
Feeding habits
  • Fruit flies
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Can be grown in terrariumsa and greenhouses
  • Can also be grown outside

The venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) are a unique and fascinating carnivorous plant native to the wetlands of the southeastern United States, specifically in the coastal plain of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Its scientific name Dionaea muscipula derives from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and the Latin word “muscular” meaning mousetrap. This plant is known for its modified leaves, and its ability to catch and ingest insects and other small prey.

These leaves of venus fly traps are lined with sensitive trigger hairs that, when touched, cause the leaf to close, trapping the prey quickly. The plant has now evolved to adapt to its nutrient-poor environment by developing this unique trapping mechanism.

It is a perennial herb and can grow up to 2–5 inches high. The leaves are green and glossy, with a red tinge on the edges. The plant produces small white flowers on a tall stem during the spring.

The Venus flytrap is considered an endangered species in the wild due to habitat destruction, poaching, and over-collection. It is now legally protected in some of its native states and cultivated as a popular ornamental plant worldwide.

The Venus flytraps can eat fruit flies and are also gaining popularity in gardens as a natural control from pests. It is also one of the indoor plants, which makes it more popular.

Overall, the Venus fly trap is a unique and captivating plant that has evolved to adapt to its nutrient-poor environment. Its trapping mechanism is a unique example of adaptation and survival in nature. It’s an exciting addition to any garden and a vulnerable species that need protection. If you cannot find one, there are many similar plants like the venus fly trap to choose from.

2. Pitcher Plant

Brightly Colored Pitcher Plant

  • Brightly-colored
  • Pitcher-shaped leaves
Specific needs
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Nutrient-poor
  • Well-draining soil
Feeding habits
  • Fruit flies
  • Other small animals
  • Bogs
  • Swamps
  • Even rocky outcroppings

A carnivorous plant with pitcher-shaped leaves that act as a passive pitfall trap. Pitcher plants in the Old World belong to the family Nepenthaceae (order Caryophyllales), while those in the New World are represented by Sarraceniaceae (order Ericales).

The only member of the Cephalotaceae family is the Western Australian pitcher plant (Cephalotus follicularis) (order Oxalidales).

Pitcher plants can be found in various habitats with poor soil conditions, ranging from barren pine lands to sandy coastal swampy areas, and rely on carnivory for nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. A few pitcher plants also get their nutrients from leaf litter or animal feces.

The Nepenthaceae family includes a single genus, Nepenthes, and 140 tropical pitcher fly traps are native to Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Most of these species are perennials that are local in very acidic soil, though some are epiphytes that live on tree branches.

The pitcher’s lid secretes nectar to attract prey, which cannot escape due to the trap’s downward-pointing hairs and slick sides.

This genus contains the critically endangered Attenborough’s pitcher plant (N. attenboroughii), one of the largest animal-eating plants, reaching up to 4.8 feet tall with pitchers 11.8 inches in diameter. Attenborough’s pitcher plant, found near the summit of Mount Victoria on the Philippine island of Palawan, can capture and digest rodents, insects, and other small animals.

3. Sundew

Small Leaves Sundew

  • Small leaves
  • Delicate leaves covered in tiny, sticky tentacles.
Specific needs
  • Nutrient-poor and acidic soil
  • High humidity and bright but indirect light
Feeding habits
  • Insects
  • Other small invertebrates
  • Can be grown in a terrarium or greenhouse
  • Also outdoors in a bog or marshy area

Sundew (Drosera) is a genus of about 152 carnivorous plant species in the Droseraceae family. Sundews are common in bogs and fens with sandy, acidic soil in tropical and temperate regions, particularly Australia. Carnivorous activities do not provide energy to sundews but rather nutrients, especially nitrogen, in poor soil conditions.

The plants, mostly perennials, have small, nodding, five-petaled white or pinkish flowers that bloom on one side of a curving stem 4 to 11 inches over the basal leaves. The leaves are usually formed in a rosette and have a diameter of less than 1 inch.

The upper surface is covered in flexible gland-tipped trichomes (plant hairs) that give out a sticky substance that attracts and traps insects and other small prey. Prey is engulfed in a web of sticky glands colloquially known as tentacles and digested by enzymes. The leaf unfurls after digestion to reset the trap.

4. Bladderwort

Small Bladder Like Bladderwort

  • Small bladder-like structures
  • Long, thin stem for flowers
Specific needs
  • Nutrient-poor environments
  • MInimum of 50 gallons water needed for one plant
Feeding habits
  • Water fleas,
  • Mosquito larvae,
  • Other small invertebrates.
  • Aquatic
  • Terrestrial

Bladderwort (genus Utricularia), a carnivorous plant genus in the Lentibulariaceae family (order Lamiales). The bladderwort genus includes 220 widely distributed plant species distinguished by small empty sacs that actively hunt and digest tiny animals such as larvae, aquatic worms, and water fleas.

Bladderworts are found worldwide in lakes, streams, and saturated soils, and several invasive species have spread to new habitats.

Bladderwort plants do not have roots and instead have a horizontal floating stem with simple or parted leaves. Small carnivorous plant bladders are formed along the stem and vary in color from dark to transparent.

The flowers are bisexual and symmetrical (two-lipped), with two sepals, five fused petals, two stamens, and a superior ovary made up of two ovule-bearing segments (located above the attachment point of the other flower parts) (carpels). Each plant produces a large number of seeds when it reaches maturity.

5. Butterwort

Greasy Like Butterwort

  • Distinctive rosette of leaves
  • Greasy appearance
Specific needs
  • Constantly moist soil
  • Bright indirect light
  • Well-draining, nutrient-poor soil
Feeding habits
  • Small insects
  • Other invertabraetes
  • Can be grown in a terrarium or bog garden,
  • Can be grown in a rock garden

Pinguicula means “little greasy one” in Latin, referring to their buttery or greasy texture. Butterworts are found in the northern hemisphere from Siberia to North America and grow in Central and South America. Mexico has the greatest diversity, with dozens of new species discovered in the last 20 years.

Mexican Butterworts are small herbaceous plants that produce rosettes of flat, often upturned leaves. The surface of the leaf is covered in minute, sticky hairs that trap small prey such as gnats, fruit fly traps, and springtails.

Sessile glands secrete an enzyme-and-acid liquid that quickly overcomes and dissolves the prey. The plant then absorbs this mineral-rich soup. Butterworts hibernate in cold winter climates.

Butterwort plants are relatively easy to care for, can be placed indoors or outdoors as long as they have plenty of bright, indirect light, and are planted in well-draining, nutrient-poor soil.

They are considered to be a low-maintenance plant and are ideal for those who are new to gardening. Butterworts like fungus gnats and sundew plant for fruit flies plants require a lot of moisture and humidity to survive, so they should be placed in a location where they will receive ample humidity or be misted regularly. So if you are wondering do sundews eat fruit flies, the answer is yes!

6. Cobra Plant

Striking Tall Cobra Plant

  • Tall
  • Striking
  • Upright leaves that resemble snakeskin
Specific needs
  • Specific growing conditions necessary
  • Acidic soil and a steady supply of rain or distilled water
Feeding habits
  • Any insect that can be lured into them
  • Mostly smaller insects
  • Highly adaptable
  • Can be found growing in a variety of habitats, including bogs, fens, and seeps

The cobra lily is one of the carnivorous plants that has an otherworldly quality to it. This pitcher plant is not only rare in appearance, but it also has a voracious appetite that insects and, on rare occasions, small vertebrates feed like a fly trap. If you live in a warm enough zone, learn how to take care of cobra lily and bring the drama of this amazing plant into your landscape.

California pitcher plants (Darlingtonia californica) grow in distinct clusters across the state. Cobra lily pitcher plants are local to North America and can be found in nutrient-depleted bogs. The plants spread asexually via runners and stolons and flowers infrequently. They are unique plants with exceptional structure and eccentric beauty unrivaled by most flora.

The plant’s most distinguishing feature is the modified leaves that rise from the base and terminate in hooded foliage. The leaves are shaped like cobra heads and serve a specific purpose. These plants’ habitat lacks nutrients, so they use their hooded leaves to collect fuel from digested insects.


In conclusion, many plants can attract and eat fruit flies, including the Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, sundew, bladderwort, butterwort, and cobra plants. Each plant has unique characteristics and methods for trapping and digesting fruit flies, making them a perfect choice for anyone looking to control fruit fly infestation in their home or garden.

  • These plants help control fruit fly populations and make for exciting and unique additions to any indoor or outdoor garden.
  • They are easy to take care of and can be grown in various conditions, making them accessible to even the most novice gardeners.
  • They are also a natural and sustainable solution that can aid in improving the overall health and biodiversity of your garden or home.

Now that you know which plants can eat those pesky flies, why not plant them and see the results yourself? You can also follow these great tips to get rid of the flies from your outside patio without planting new plants.

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