The reason that I first acquired my carnivorous plants was to keep the flies under control in the limery – a natural solution that is also fascinating. The pitcher plants, which featured in last week’s Three Things Thursday are good for controlling large flies, but when it comes to fruit flies and little black compost flies, you need a sundew or two.

The most common and easiest to grow in a UK conservatory is probably the Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis). The plants have linear leaves and either pink or white flowers, the former associated with leaves with red highlights. Mine are always covered in little flies:

And then, if you’ve got some hanging space that’s high enough so you won’t walk into it (and honestly, you really don’t want a face full of this), there’s my favourite – Drosera dicotoma, the leaves of which can reach 30cm. Mine had a bit of a set-back earlier in the year when I was on holiday, but has now grown some new fresh leaves which haven’t had much time to catch many flies, although it is capable of snaring big ones.

So, who needs chemicals or fly paper, when nature can solve the problem for you?


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  1. Annie

     /  June 12, 2017

    Oh my, it would be like walking into a giant spider!!

  2. I agree! And carnivorous plants are so much more interesting than a can of bug spray!

  3. Nikki

     /  June 12, 2017

    Nature’s solutions are often the best! I think I will have to invest in a carnivorous plant or two…can you suggest where might be a good place to buy them?

  4. Laurie Graves

     /  June 12, 2017

    What a great solution!

  5. Such a neat, simple solution, but I can’t help wondering what they’d make of the huge swarms of flies you get in Australian cattle country. You’d need *plantations* of carnivorous plants, and I can’t help worrying about them evolving into something like Audrey II!

    • Yes, forests of pitchers would be needed… although they are voracious and each pitcher can fill to the top with big flies!

      • They’d probably grow enormous and you’d have to watch your step around them. You know how the most innocent thing is deadly Down Under 🙂

  6. Been dealing with stickiness here too but that is about extracting honey 🙂

  7. These plants fascinate me. I don’t know that I’ve seen any of them here, other than the Venus fly trap which is often sold as a novelty. I’m all about natural solutions. These are terrific.


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