Wasp damage to pitcher plants


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Hi all,

Now that the summer is in full swing and the insect populations are at their peak, my plants that are grown outdoors are practically groaning under the weight of trapped insects. The sundews are black with small flies and the occasional moth; the Venus Flytraps have every other trap working away on some poor critter and the pitcher plants are so full of insects that many of their leaves are starting to discolour and rot. However, I witnessed something I hadn't seen before, but I'm sure many people on here may have: trapped wasps (Vespula vulgaris) cutting their way free from overly-full pitcher plants. Over the course of Sunday afternoon I saw four S. flava traps develop holes about three inches down from the lip of the traps and the top of one large S. psittacina trap be cut completely off. Apart from being quite upset at the destruction caused, I do wonder whether there is any way of keeping these insects away from the plants (perhaps a buddleia of the wasp world?) or a chemical repellant that could be applied in the vicinity of the bog/potted plants?

Kind regards,

Howard

PS Apologies for posting here - I was looking for a 'Pests' section, but couldn't find it!

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Nasty things when it comes to being trapped. They are great food, but it chewed a huge hole right through my S minor. I just make sure that the pitcher is well filled with liquid so that the wasp drown immediately.

Oh and that doesn't mean adding liquid to the pitcher. It means squashing the insects down so they are below the level of the liquid.

Edited by James O'Neill
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  • 4 weeks later...
Some of my babysarracenias I grow outside had the top of the pitchers chewed off by what I assume are wasps trying to get to the goodies inside.(the pitchers are too narrow for the wasps to climb in)

I have grown the bulk of my Heliamphora outside for several years but have had a few problems with pests quite some time ago. Much like damage seen in the Venezuelan and Brazilian wilds, there was some damage -- they appeared drilled -- to the nectar spoons of several plants. Most of the wasps became prey or were else captured by my Sarracenia collection . . .

Heliamphora nutans

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I had this happen to my plants, but instead of a wasp, it looks like a fly(at first glance) but when I looked closely, it is in fact a kind of bee....I witnessed this insect rip chunks of not only my sarracenias, but also my rose bush...It uses its jaws like a can opener and it starts from one side, working its way all the way around til the chunk of leaf is completely severed from the whole leaf itself....Though I dont like what it does, Im more fearful of using chemicals to rid my plants of it, so I chose not to ....luckily it seems to like chomping more of the roses than my CPs...

DexFC

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James you hit it right on the money. I just finished reading about this leaf cutter bee, and yes theyre not only European, but theyre also Americans...No matter what nationality they are, these are little bastards....Thanks James...

DexFC

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its not there falt there EVIL :tu:

Not bad Robert, 6 words, 4 of them with mistakes.

It's not their fault they're EVIL.

Ok ok, so I'm being a bit compulsive. . :thumbsup:

Edited by Amar
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Hi Howard.

I too have several Sarrs in my bogs riddled with holes in from wasp escapees. I find, especially at this time of year, when the pesky critters are queuing to throw themselves into pitchers, that there are more and more holes appearing, this I think is likely to be because the pitchers are starting to rot due to the amount of animals caught, and the pitchers have thinning walls and are less resilient than in the height of summer, plus of course the wasps are now attracted to sweet things, which they aren’t earlier in the year.

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