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The Natural Solution to Your Indoor Pest Problems? Carnivorous Plants

Say goodbye to exterminator expenses and hello to nature's natural pesticide. Here's everything you need to know about carnivorous plants.

Written by
Angelica Pizza

Spiders, flies, and gnats... oh my! If you're tired of insects and spiders invading your home (when they definitely weren't invited inside), we have a natural way to get rid of them—and no, you don't need to swat them with a shoe. Our solution to unwanted insects and spiders in your home: carnivorous plants.

Hiring an exterminator can cost about $175 per visit—sometimes more depending on the pest problem that needs solving. On top of the financial cost, exterminators use pesticides to get rid of whatever creature is invading your home. And those pesticides wreak havoc on wildlife and the environment.

However, with carnivorous plants, you can say goodbye to those pesky pests and even peskier exterminator expenses. Khoa Hoang, Brightly's product designer and self-certified plant dad, tells us everything we need to know about carnivorous plants.

"Carnivorous plants are nature’s natural pesticide," he says. "A lot of you, like me, are probably new plant parents who—no pun intended—'drown' their children with love. Which in return either kills them or creates breeding grounds for unwanted guests. In most cases, gnats."

As much as we love our houseplants like they're our children, we don't always enjoy the unwanted pests that come with them. Gnats are often hard to get rid of, and Hoang says he's tried everything.

"Gnats require creative solutions, as they're impossible to eradicate on their own," he says. "I’ve tried a handful of solutions such as apple vinegar and soap, boiling water, and pesticide sprays. All [of] which help for a short period of time until the next wave of eggs sprout."

However, Hoang found a natural solution to the indoor pest problem—and yes, it includes expanding your houseplant collection!

Carnivorous Plants: Nature's Natural Solution to Indoor Pests

Carnivorous plants take care of the pests for you—these plants feed on insects like gnarly gnats and sneaky spiders.

"The best solution so far for me has been carnivorous plants, especially Droseras," Hoang says. "Droseras are known for their dewy sticky substances that spring from the follicles of their tentacles. These individual follicles are like nerve receptors and once an insect gets stuck in one, it triggers the tentacle to curl up and hold onto their prey. This, in return, starts their feeding process as they suck the juices out of the insect."

It's not exactly the most pleasant process, but it's definitely natural! Plus, adding carnivorous plants to your collection recreates a stable ecosystem—aka bringing in a natural predator that keeps the pests under control. Without causing harm to the environment, of course.

"Introducing Droseras into your home garden is the equivalent to scientists introducing wolves back into Yellowstone," Hoang says. "The effects ripple across your homes, as there is now a predator to keep your pests in check. Colonies of gnats will be eaten, and their corpses dissolve on your carnivorous plants."

Not only are you saying goodbye to those exterminator expenses, but you're also saying goodbye to wiping the dead bugs off the bottom of your shoes.

Carnivorous Plants Are in Your Future

Hoang also says carnivorous plants are easy to care for. After all, they catch their own food. All they'll need is some sunlight and water. He says they're "self-sustaining."

His personal favorites are Droseras, but other carnivorous houseplants include Venus flytraps, pitcher plants (snag some here from Bloomscape!), and bladderworts.

"If you’re looking for a nature’s natural solution to pests, I highly recommend getting yourself a lean mean green eating machine," he says.