Soil and Compost forum→Black soldier flies

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1626, Replies: 24 » Jump to the end
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
May 22, 2019 6:02 AM CST
I'm happy to see black soldier flies in my compost, especially since I have chickens to feed.
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/crea...

I first found them after getting a few pounds of coffee grounds from a coffee place. But now they do return every year. They very quickly process kitchen waste. You may never notice the adults at all. What you may notice is those clouds of fungus gnats disappear because the BSF eat the waste so fast. Once the BSF take over, I never notice houseflies or fungus gnats at all.

A downside to some is, they eat so fast, the compost becomes sludgy and too hot for worms. And don't poke around in the compost if the sight of wriggling maggots makes you queasy. But if you want to dump a lot of kitchen waste and have it disappear, BSF are your friends.

i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jun 24, 2019 8:58 PM CST
The BSF are at work now. Chickens love to find them.
There are lots of different style plans for growing and harvesting the mature larvae. Some simple, some complicated. One big feature is collecting the mature larvae. By letting the BSF eat til maturity, your chickens get the most 'bang' for the buck. But I didn't want to get complicated if simple will do.
The mature larvae exit the food source during the night, they say.. But how far do they go? I wondered if they would just crawl a short distance and then take shelter where the chickens would find them later..

I made a perforated 5 gal bucket with random placed 1/2 or 3/4 inch holes on the sides. I tilted the bucket and set it in a tub. And I also have a heavy duty large nursery pot with holes on the bottom edge. Both got some compost and food scraps the BSF would like. This morning, I found that a few dozen larvae had exited the bucket and fell into the tub and got caught. Those are easy to throw to the chickens. With the right size tub, the chickens could learn to look for the BSF each morning. Also, when I moved the tub, another dozen or so larva had just collected under it- escaped through a hole in the tub.

So, I think this shows you may not need a complicated set-up if you want to grow BSF for your chickens.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Joseph
Delaware USA (Zone 7a)
Morning Glories Brugmansias Annuals Region: United States of America Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Photography
Container Gardener Composter Salvias Region: Delaware Adeniums Vermiculture
Image
Gerris2
Jun 28, 2019 5:36 AM CST
It's amazing how active Hermetia illucens larvae are, and how quickly they consume down materials.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jun 29, 2019 11:56 AM CST
Between chickens and BDF, It's hard to have enough food waste. The chickens got cantalope rinds and seeds yesterday, ate it down to just the thin skin.

I found this set up idea which seems to me a good balance of easy, cheap, and gives you a collection container protected from rain. Can't deny there is satisfaction in seeing if it is producing or not. This seems a good size for modest amounts of kitchen waste.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

There's a ton of research being done on Hermetia on a commercial scale. And a video of a guy (NWRedworms) who seems obsessed to the nth degree with growing them and seemed NOT to have a clue what to do with them after, except saying he'd give a few to the chickens.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Joseph
Delaware USA (Zone 7a)
Morning Glories Brugmansias Annuals Region: United States of America Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Photography
Container Gardener Composter Salvias Region: Delaware Adeniums Vermiculture
Image
Gerris2
Jun 29, 2019 1:38 PM CST
The adult flies are attractive insects if you like bugs in general. If you don't like bugs they probably will invoke the heebiejeebie response.

Have you ever seen the video where someone put a cooked pizza on top of a pizza box, then put the box on the surface of a very densely populated bin of fly larvae? The response reminded me of a massive zombie horde attack. Hahaha
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jun 29, 2019 2:05 PM CST
I agree, the adults are cute as insects go, and completely inoffensive. You hardly ever see them in the normal backyard. I know I have lots of larvae of either black or yellow, and hardly ever see an adult.
The videos are eye-popping!
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Layo
Texas (Zone 9a)
Mrkrabs
Jul 20, 2019 12:20 PM CST
Hello guys and gals im new to this forum and id like to say hello, im from texas and into black soilder fly composting, i have chickens and they love them , also collect bsfl and make insect frass which i great for our plants, in addition to the bsfl composting i add biochar to my bins and produce great compost for my plants, im no guru but have been breeding for a while so excited i found others with this passion heres a couple pics


Thumb of 2019-07-20/Mrcrabs/bf453e

Dried bsfl ready to be made insect frass


Thumb of 2019-07-20/Mrcrabs/fbe045


Thumb of 2019-07-20/Mrcrabs/d34c38

In a 3×3 bin lots of healthy larvae Hurray!


Thumb of 2019-07-20/Mrcrabs/05fc6d
Finished compost, have a wonderful afternoon everyone
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
crawgarden
Jul 20, 2019 2:53 PM CST
https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogco...
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Layo
Texas (Zone 9a)
Mrkrabs
Jul 20, 2019 3:19 PM CST
Thumb of 2019-07-20/Mrcrabs/0bb024

Here's one I caught this morning , she's a beauty
[Last edited by Mrcrabs - Jul 20, 2019 3:20 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2027001 (9)
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jul 20, 2019 4:48 PM CST
What a lot of BSF!
I cannot get enough compost material to keep ahead of them and build up the numbers. Things like cantalope and watermelon waste, the chickens want too. I hoped to process manure with them but they don't seem to like it that much, or it was just too rainy while I was setting it up. It got really sludgy.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Layo
Texas (Zone 9a)
Mrkrabs
Jul 20, 2019 5:21 PM CST
They love manure, especially fresh not hard, i get acces fruit and vegetables from a church food drive, sumtimes it goes bad and i go and collect it,ive had pallets full and give sum to the hogs, hard manure makes great egg laying surfaces, wet rainy weather isn't there favorite, a shelter from the rain would keep them happy and active
[Last edited by Mrkrabs - Jul 20, 2019 7:23 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2027105 (11)
Portland, Oregon (Zone 7b)
Snakes
Image
Sallymander
Jul 21, 2019 4:02 AM CST
I always thought "build it and they will come." I've got compost and manure pits all over the yard, and have never seen one. I thought about buying some (not sure where,) but I don't like the idea of shipping live bugs.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jul 21, 2019 5:07 AM CST
here's a supplier in WA
https://www.northwestredworms....
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Layo
Texas (Zone 9a)
Mrkrabs
Jul 21, 2019 7:59 AM CST
Here's is a map where they have been located in the wild all over the US

Thumb of 2019-07-21/Mrkrabs/b3dab1

Here's a photo of bsf eggs 🥚

Thumb of 2019-07-21/Mrkrabs/473ff8
They love hard dog poop as a laying platform, try and keep your eggs dry and moist material under so when larvae hatch the fall directly into moist food and get to eating , have a blessed day everyone
[Last edited by Mrkrabs - Jul 21, 2019 8:01 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2027439 (14)
Name: Joseph
Delaware USA (Zone 7a)
Morning Glories Brugmansias Annuals Region: United States of America Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Photography
Container Gardener Composter Salvias Region: Delaware Adeniums Vermiculture
Image
Gerris2
Jul 21, 2019 1:42 PM CST
I've read the adults are quite attracted to rotting fruit.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jul 21, 2019 2:05 PM CST
plus I would much rather handle rotting fruit than manure Blinking
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Portland, Oregon (Zone 7b)
Snakes
Image
Sallymander
Jul 21, 2019 9:39 PM CST
sallyg said:plus I would much rather handle rotting fruit than manure Blinking


I would venture to guess, you've never had a rotten watermelon explode on you.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
Jul 22, 2019 6:42 AM CST
Nope! Must be really awful!
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Layo
Texas (Zone 9a)
Mrkrabs
Jul 22, 2019 5:50 PM CST
Haha, yes rotten watermelon is foul, but a very good way to attract them. Any rotten fruit of veggies will do the trick
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Image
sallyg
May 31, 2020 2:09 PM CST
Eagerly awaiting the BSF for the summer. Still have loads of gnats, and it has been a cool spring.
My first sighting of them ever was a big batch of coffee grounds.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Soil and Compost forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Zoia and is called "Summer Phlox"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.