Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL) can consume mass amounts of decaying material in a matter of days.
You may have come to this page because you're wanting to know how to get rid of soldier fly larvae in the worm bin and that's completely understandable cause...
Once they move in, the worms check out!
Well, not always but their numbers will eventually continue to decline if the amount of soldier fly larvae increase. Worms can coexist with many other types of composting creatures but they still hate competition.
Many people actually have BSFL farms. They grow them to feed their chickens or for other pet food, bait, forensic entomology, or to just compost their food due to BSFL ferocious appetite for rotting vegetation.
I even feed them to my chickens when I see them in my worm bins. They contain high levels of calcium which is great for egg laying hens. But they aren't normally in worm bins that are located indoors. Although this is still possible.
Years ago I ordered worms from a popular worm supplier and two weeks later I had a BSF fly out of the bedding when I pulled the lid off. Freaked me out! Luckily the door was open and the rest is history.
Simply put, it's the rich decaying organic matter of kitchen scraps like...
Fruits, Vegetables or even Animal Excrement.
Black soldier fly larvae are normally associated with outdoor bins and compost piles and if your bin is outdoors then chances are you have some unwanted company.
BSF adults can't resist the sour, anaerobic aroma emitting from a worm bin. The strong odor usually indicates that there is too much food that the worms can't keep up with along with excess moisture.
Cutting back on the food though is no guarantee that you still won't get Soldiers in the future but it will help.
Although I don't have any pictures of the adult fly yet, I do have their offspring below.
Click on any picture on this page to view the album.
They are usually about 3/4 inch long, segmented and cylindrically flat. They have few short hairs located on each segment.
They are also tan in color when
young but when they get ready to pupate their color turns to a blackish
hue. They're like a house fly maggot only on steroids. ha! ha! (see pic below)
1. Since they're attracted to moist, rotting food then you'll need to pull all the food out, at least a big part of it. Don't fret the small pieces.
Don't be concerned about not having enough food.
The worms will do just fine eating the bedding and the BSFL are not attracted to these carbonous material as neither are the adults. They prefer the high nitrogen based foods.
2. Pull as many larva out as you can find.
3. Add a lot of absorbent bedding like shredded paper, cardboard, coco coir or peat moss. Leave it especially thick up top to reduce any smells. This will soak up excess acidic moisture.
4. Get rid of leachate if you have any.
5. Add layers of moist newspaper or equivalent on top.
6. You can also add just a little lime or preferably Diatomaceous Earth on top of the newspaper to keep the Black Soldier Fly away.
The worms will continue to eat the cardboard or coir while the adult fly will not want to come back as the smell is not as pleasing as it once was.
In the future, try cutting back on moisture and/or food. Only feed the worms what they can keep up with but this is what happens sometimes in outdoor bins. Keep the worm food buried under 2-3 inches of bedding/worm castings.
Always Add Plenty of Carbon Material.
You almost can't have too much.
When you have rid of all unwanted pests you may consider keeping the bin in a mosquito type of netting.
This allows the worm bin to get plenty of air and keep any Black Soldier Fly or other unwanted pests away.
Are you interested in recycling Lots & Lots of nitrogen-rich waste?
I bought Larry's book to see if you (my reader) would benefit from the information, to see how it offers a direction, should you choose to culture BSFL.
I read some of Larry's other work's in many group discussions. Had I not known his passion and thirst for deep research in order to share and help others, I may have not given this book another look. Due to MANY outlets of information these days,
It's becoming more difficult to know what to believe and who to trust on the Internet.
I've enjoyed Larry's solid advice and experience working on his own projects in composting and recycling. I now know that I can point you to his BSF book if you're looking for some great ideas and solid answers for utilizing the Black Soldier Fly, the book gives you many options to consider and sites sources as well.
If you're looking at getting involved with this insect and its larvae, this book will open your eyes to some great possibilities.