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We have seen movies where giant flesh eating plants consume people. But what would happen if a Venus flytrap bites you? Will it hurt? We know these plants eat meat, so why not human flesh? We will answer those questions here.
Venus flytraps cannot bite you. If you put your finger in the trap, it will attempt to close but you will not be harmed. You will feel a light pressure but you can easily pull your finger out.
Can a Venus Flytrap Make You Bleed?
No thanks to movies, we think of Venus flytrap leaves as these huge mouths with razor sharp teeth. in fact those white things are not teeth at all but filaments. They are not even sharp and you can touch them without getting hurt.
There is no way a Venus flytrap can make you bleed. If you touch the trap you will feel a light tingle. Pull your finger out and the trap will open.
These filaments feel more like very soft bristles on your finger. When the leaves close, the only thing you will feel is a light brushing against your skin. There will be a bit of pressure but nothing that will cause discomfort.
There is no need to worry about the digestive chemicals getting on your finger. Venus flytraps only digest food if the trap is completely closed.
Your finger is too large for the trap so it cannot close. There is no danger of the enzymes or other chemicals getting into you because a Venus flytrap will only release them when it is ready to digest. And it can only do that with a fully closed trap.
You will not bleed, you will not even get a scratch. In fact the more you poke at the trap, the more harm you will cause to the plant. There is no risk to you but there is to the Venus flytrap.
There is no question Venus flytraps can eat animal flesh. The plant does not consume the flesh entirely however, only the soft tissues. The research shows that a Venus flytrap digests different insect tissues the same way, be it living or dead, flying or crawling. .
But again, Venus flytraps are completely safe for humans due to their small size. They can be set as indoor or outdoor houseplants and can help you get rid of spiders and other small insects.
Will Venus Flytraps Eat Human Flesh?
Venus flytraps can eat human flesh, but they are too small to cause any harm. A typical trap is about the size of your fingernail.
To put it simply, you can put your finger around the trap and it will attempt to close. You will feel the leaves fold but there will be no harm. You just need to pull out your finger and the trap will open.
But suppose you got shrunk to the size of a insect or the plant grew to a giant? Can a Venus flytrap eat you then? The answer is yes.
A Venus flytrap uses enzymes to digest a captured prey, whether it is an insect, small frog, etc. It might take a week or so to digest an insect, and not all of it will be consumed. The exoskeleton will be left, for instance.
An experiment demonstrated that Venus flytrap can eat human flesh. In the test, small bits of dead skin were given to the plant. After several days the trap was opened and the flesh was gone except for digestive juices.
So it is possible for Venus flytraps to eat flesh, albeit only a few grams. This was also just one instance and there is no telling what would happen to the plant if fed dead human skin continuously.
As this experiment showed, Venus flytraps can digest human flesh. But its enzymes are meant to deal with insects and other small animals. So we do not know if it will be harmful in the long run.
If you have a Venus flytrap, the best way to to keep it healthy is to ensure it is fed properly. Insects will do just fine, or you can give it freeze dried mealworms. These foods have been specially prepared to ensure Venus flytraps get all the necessary nutrients in case insects and other natural prey are hard to come boy.
Are Venus Flytraps Dangerous?
Venus flytraps are not dangerous to humans. Humans pose a greater threat because the leaves that comprise the trap can only fold a limited number of times. If you keep wiggling your finger, the trap will close repeatedly, hastening its demise.
Venus flytraps should only open to feed and for photosynthesis. Too much stimulation is not good for the plant, and that can come from repeated poking with your fingers.
To make your Venus flytraps last longer, they must have access to proper nutrition. Soil, insects, nitrogen and photosynthesis provide what they need, so make sure you use the right type of soil for the plant. For soil we recommend perlite and peat moss. 1:1 ratio.
Like most carnivorous plants, Venus flytraps are often found in areas that lack nutrients. This is why they consume insects and other animals to absorb those needed nutrients.
What does this have to do with a Venus flytrap biting you? When a Venus flytrap digests food, its photosynthesizing drops. So it sacrifices energy to digest its meal.
If you touch the plant and the trap closes, it will not be able to photosynthesize – losing energy in the process – and also wastes energy trying to digest something it cannot.
Bottom line: if a botanist or Venus flytrap specialist tells you not to touch it, this is to protect the plant, not you. Venus flytraps are not poisonous and do not possess any threat to humans. People that tinker with the flytraps however, do pose a threat to the plant.
Can a Venus Flytrap Kill You?
Venus flytraps are no threat to people. In fact they need proper care to ensure their survival. For instance, you should use something like 1:1 perlite and peat moss so the Venus flytrap receives the proper soil nutrition.
A Venus flytrap cannot kill you, but you can kill it by repeatedly touching the traps with your finger. Here is why.
These plants are of course made up of leaves. And when the leaves get old they are discarded in favor of new ones. Most Venus flytraps can only open and close 3 to 5 times before it is shed.
So each time you touch the trap with your finger to see if it will bite, you are wasting its resources which should be used for digesting food. Just a few of these is enough to kill a Venus flytrap.
Think of it another way: when a Venus flytrap reaches maturity, the average trap size is one inch. Unless the plant grows into a something humongous with sharp teeth, there is no way it can bite you let alone cause injury.
That small trap is the right size to catch insects and small bugs. On occasion you will see Venus flytraps catching small frogs and rodents too. But usually the plant settles for small insects.
Also, the digestive system of a Venus flytrap can only consume small amounts of meat. They have evolved to eat insects for nutrition.
While Venus flytraps have the means to eat human flesh, its long term effect is unknown. It is risky to feed them something their digestive system is not designed to handle.
The bottom line is Venus flytraps pose no danger to you. As we explained here, Venus flytraps are more likely to get hurt in the process. So if you accidentally put your finger in one of its traps, no harm will come to you. And as a responsible owner, you should avoid touching the plant so it can live much longer.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.