You are here:

Carnivorous Plants/something eating pitcher plant


pitcher plant with holes
pitcher plant with hol  
QUESTION: I have noticed something is eating on my Purple Pitcher Plant.  At first I noticed what appeared to be white webbing type stuff in a new pitcher.  I thought it was fungus so I sprayed it with the recommended spray but now I see holes in another fairly new pitcher and very fine webs.  I will try to attatch a photo.


This is most likely a caterpillar of some kind, or a slug or snail.  If you have any other plants you have to protect from slugs or snails, that is your most likely suspect.  If not, you may have some roaming caterpillars that are taking an occasional bite out of the plants.

If can see the planter is on the ground, so mollusks are a strong possibility.  If it seems likely, bait for them or use appropriate barriers.  For insects, many insecticides will do the job.  A systemic like Bayer 3 in 1 would work, or a product containing Spinosad would be very good for caterpillars.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick response.  There doesn't seem to be any damage to the sundew or flytrap that share the tray.

Hi Pat,

I rarely see slug damage here in the Northwest on Venus Flytraps or Sundews.  They love Sarracenia, with purpurea and oreophila being their top targets.  This is from last spring:

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2017 All rights reserved.