A visit with the Los Angeles Carnivorous Plant Society


(Photo of Venus Fly Trap by Jessica Miller for LA Weekly)

Gendy Alimurung of the The LA Weekly attends a monthly meeting of the Los Angeles Carnivorous Plant Society.

Discussion turns to flies, a perennial favorite among Society members. "Do you feed one leaf at a time?" someone asks. "Meaning, on one plant, would you only put one fly on one leaf?"

"Do you feed the flies dry?" asks someone else.

"I don't feed the flies at all," Dr. Frankensnyder quips.

"You wet it, then feed it," another member advises.

"But don't get the flies wet or you'll get all kinds of mold growing in there," someone cautions. "You can get sick from sniffing it."

"Don't be sniffing your dried flies, guys!" still another knowledgeable member of the society chimes in.

Feed Me! Carnivorous Plants and the Bloody-Fingered People Who Love Them


  1. My brother ordered a venus fly trap by mail.

    It was doing OK until he left it on the back porch and a rabbit ate it.

  2. That’s a really offensive article. Being a herpetoculturist, I’ve gotten very sensitive to hit pieces like that.

    (Yeah, the guy’s weird. The reporter is intent on making him, and his hobby, into a nut.)

  3. I had a venus flytrap once. It was doing well, but me being a kid I wanted to see it eat meat. I fed it (cooked) hamburger and it died. This article makes me want to get another one.

  4. feeding with flies is tacky.
    feeding it with anything is tacky.
    yeah, the traps are fun to watch close, but they can only do it about three times in the lifetime of the leaf.

    it’s a plant [not a pet!] that’s built to catch its own, and they do quite well.

    if anything, you mist it with a diluted mixture of purified water and an acidic fertilizer like “epiphyte’s delight”.

    the worlds largest collection [that’s open to the public] is right in the make hometown of sebastopol.

    there’s also a bay area carnivorous plant society.

  5. +1 on visting California Carnivores in Sebastopol. Go to Sebastopol anyway because it’s a cool little town. The guy in there who owns it knows a scary amount of stuff about his trade, but it’s people like him who give us the cool things we all take for granted.

  6. I’ve got one to get rid of late summer insects like fruit flies and gnats. Very organic solution to a very natural problem. And works just fine. You don’t need to feed them, they can do that quite well alone. They need water (being a swamp plant and all) but all in all they are very low maintenance.

  7. I’m holding off on buying one of these until they breed one big enough to take care of those annoying, yippy little dogs all my neighbors seem to have.

    What a dream. Imagine a world free of tea cup Yorkies and Miniature Pincher’s.

    I think I’ll go check eBay.

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