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I just bought a Venus fly trap a few days ago. My new Venus fly trap won't close ANY of its little traps. I put an ant into it and none of the traps closed.

Is this natural?

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Venus fly traps have trigger hairs (which are visible to the naked eye) inside their mouths. In order to trigger their mouths to shut, the prey (or yourself) must trigger two or more hairs within a certain small time frame (35 seconds). If the hairs aren't continually triggered after the mouth has shut, then the mouth will open back up after a short while. If you think about it, this is sensible because their is no nutritional value to, say, a small leaf that has blown inside a trap.

Interesting trivia taken from http://www.flytrapcare.com:

  1. in temperatures of over 36˚C only one trigger is required to close a trap?
  2. a trap closes about twice as fast at 20˚C compared to 36˚C?
  3. a trap closes automatically in an acid environment with pH less than 4.5?

I used to keep Venus Fly Traps, just a few heads up:

  • Water them with deionised or rain water or they will eventually die due to over-abundance of accumulated solids (they naturally grow in bogs which has a very low amount of this stuff)
  • An indoor VFT doesn't even need to 'eat' anything. They'll be perfectly happy with lots of sunlight and the right water. They'll still try to produce flowers (which are very energy/nutrient hungry) and subsequently seeds, so if your plant is not eating, just pinch off the flower to save your VFT the unnecessary stress.
  • Don't feed your VFT animal protein - it's built for digesting only insect protein.
  • The individual traps only have a set number of 'springs'. Once this runs out, your traps will die.
  • Read http://www.flytrapcare.com thoroughly :)

ADDED: I used to get dead flies, put them inside the VFT mouths and manually trigger the hairs with a needle. Once the trap springs close, I'd apply a light pressure to the trap with my fingers to simulate a struggling insect so that the trap will stay closed. Much easier than trapping a live insect!

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