Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feed Me, Seymore!


The other day, I found a ladybug wandering around my apartment. I'm not sure why it came out of hibernation (perhaps it had been in the window AC that's now on my bedroom floor?), but since it wasn't going to last long anyway (no aphids in my apartment), I moved it over to the dirt of my venus fly trap.

Just now I noticed that one of the traps was closed, and a lot plumper looking than a fungus-gnat would explain. I held it up to the light, and, sure enough, I saw the outline of a ladybug centred in the trap. :)

I'm thrilled that I haven't killed my venus fly trap yet. (The one I mail-ordered as a kid arrived dead, and I had been too scared to try again until this one.)

Fly trap observations:
1. Fungus gnats trigger the traps, but are delicate enough that they get squished, and so don't seem to get digested. (The insect needs to squirm to trigger the final closing and digestion process.) That's probably bad for the venus fly trap, but it sure is nice to have fewer fungus gnats.
2. I took the fly trap out of the plastic container, and it has been doing just fine with the apartment humidity. (NC isn't humid all year round, after all.)
3. It's smaller and has fewer traps than it started with, but it is the dormant season. (I'm using my poorly-insulated, north-facing window sill to approximate a NC winter.)
4. If I can get them properly centred in the larger traps, live sow bugs appear to make good fly-trap food. (If they're not centred, the trap doesn't make a good seal.) However, I've only managed to properly centre the sow-bug once.
5. I'm following instructions I found online, and watering with distilled water. Hmmm... I can probably save on the cost of distilled water (not that it's using much) by going out and getting a bucket full of snow to melt... there's certainly enough out there!

Dead fungus gnats:


Sara said...

Good luck keeping the fly trap happy!

noricum said...

Thanks! I'm thinking of splitting the baby off (there appears to be one large rosette, and another rosette with much smaller traps), so that if I kill one, I still have the other. ;)

noricum said...

Of course, if I screw up, I could kill both doing that. :(