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I was wondering about a sustainable chemical free way of dealing with house flies. Specifically, I thought to keep this from having too many possible answers and evolving into a discussion I am interested in how to work with Carnivorous plants; Like the Venus Fly Trap and pitcher plants designed to lure in insects.

  • Which are best at catching flies?
  • Which can survive in far less tropical locations with reduced humidity and near freezing temperatures during long winters?
  • Which require less attention?
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    I guess that spiders could be more effective. We leave enough of spider nets at home and a lot of flies are caught there. In addition spiders catch also other insects (non-flying too) besides flies. ------ Carnivorous plants could have an advantage that they could possibly actively attract flies by their smell. – pabouk Sep 26 '14 at 19:39
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    I agree with pabouk as far as spiders, I leave spiders alone in my house and let them catch as many flies as they can. I've found the most effective way to get rid of (a small amount, like one or two) flies is to trap them in a small room with a window you can open, open the window, and close the door to the rest of the house. Eventually, they'll fly out on their own, unless there's something to eat in there. – Evan Lynch Sep 27 '14 at 4:51
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    flyswatter is out of the question? – Sun Oct 2 '14 at 18:46
  • Use fly nets on the windows and you won't need to... – RedSonja Feb 20 '15 at 12:11
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You should figure out why you have so many flies in the first place. If they are reproducing indoors, addressing that source would be far more effective than plants.

If they are coming in from the outside, plants might not be your answer either. They are likely to "lure in" as many new flies as they eat, giving you no net benefit.

But if you are bent on the idea of carnivorous plants, there are a number of cold hardy options out there. I grow pitcher plants outdoors in NY, and leave them out all winter. They like a lot of sun and need to be wet, but other than that they need very little attention - and they kill a helluva lot of bugs.

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You cannot possibly keep up with the fly population with carnivorous plants. Your typical venus flytrap will handle 2-3 flies a month.

I raised carnivorous plants as a kid. Managed to get my flytraps to bloom and produce seed. In fall I would catch 30-40 flies, and freeze them for winter use. HI is correct. Some of the largest ones could handle a fly, but most would not.

Some of the pitcher plants have larger appetites, but are larger plants too.

Carnivorous plants aren't really feeding on bugs. They extract nitrogen from them. Their native bogs have very little nitrogen. N requirements are very small for these plants. It would be a more appropriate analogy to consider flies as being their source of vitamins.

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Sundew Plants

When I was a teenager I grew a lot of Sundew plants. To give you a good idea of the usefulness of these, I can say they can catch tiny flies (fruit flies, perhaps, and smaller) and perhaps mosquitoes but they won't catch larger house flies. I don't think their efficiency would be high enough to make a noticeable difference.

They managed to survive outdoors in a very mild winter climate (Auckland, New Zealand; no snow, frosts rare) in a sheltered sunny spot, but may die off in cold temperatures.

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