Ask a Question forum: harvesting compost with black fly larvae

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st augustine florida
Jun 23, 2017 8:16 PM CST
Hi there -- Im a new composter and have a rotating tumbler bin. Things seemed to be going great until i noticed a heap of black soldier fly larvae in my bin last week. I've added additional carbon sources to dry out my compost a bit, there is no smell and things seem to be breaking down well-- but now i need to harvest my compost -- and I'm not sure how to do it with all those larvae in the mix? They dont seem to be detrimental to the production of compost (yet?) but how the heck to get them gone so I can turn my compost into the garden is beyond me. I thought about laying the compost out on a tarp for a day or so and letting the birds have at 'em. Any other ideas? would love some help!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jun 23, 2017 8:20 PM CST
I like your tarp idea.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Jun 24, 2017 4:42 AM CST
They're beneficial and helping with the composting. When you use the compost they will presumably go away. Some more info:

Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Jun 24, 2017 5:37 AM CST
Why are larvae an issue? They will pupate and move along soon enough. Once adults they are outta there.
free for them in need:
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
Deer Bookworm Keeper of Poultry Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia
Plant Identifier Rabbit Keeper Composter Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Jun 24, 2017 8:26 AM CST
If you can wait a day or two before harvesting the compost, you can 'capture' the immature larva. Here is an easy method.

After you clean out the compost bin and add new material, put the larva back in so they can get to work. Thumbs up

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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