/r/BlackSoldierFly

Photograph via snooOG

Anything and everything relating to this wonderful worker of the insect world... from how they live to what we can work with them to do (ie: composting!).


The Black Soldier Fly reddit

'The Black Soldier Fly', or, Hermetia illucens is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae, whose larvae are common detritivores in compost heaps. Larvae are also sometimes found in association with carrion, and have significant potential for use in forensic entomology.

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) may be used in manure management, for house fly control and reduction in manure volume. Mature larvae and prepupae raised in manure management operations may also be used to supplement animal feeds. Larvae are sold as feeders for owners of herptiles and tropical fish, or as composting grubs. They store high levels of calcium for future pupation which is beneficial to herptiles.

Wikipedia: Hermetia illucens


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/r/BlackSoldierFly

2,531 Subscribers

2

question about bsf

1 besides breeding what can the adults be used for

2 what can the waste be used for (and is there things it can’t be used for or isnt as good compared to compost worms like red wigglers

3 what are somethings i should have in bsf breeder/feeder

1 Comment
2024/04/21
14:54 UTC

1

Compost mites

Has anyone had issues with compost mites ? I feel like they could be causing problems when it comes to bsf breeding and laying eggs

1 Comment
2024/04/13
21:00 UTC

1

Flies are not breeding

Hey guys, I am completely new to raising black soldier fly larvae. I have managed to raise them up to their adult fly stage, but nothing beyond that. The flies have not been visibly mating, and I have not been able to find any eggs/larvae.

How can I get them to breed?

The ambient temperature in their enclosure is roughly 20-28°C. For an attractant I mixes up some old crested gecko diet I had laying around. For the laying idea I put wood pieces stacked on each other separated by cardboard.

5 Comments
2024/04/13
20:42 UTC

2

Moisture to dry feed ratio

Hello Im breeding BSF's for the first time and started to worry about how much water they should get. For the first generation I'll likely feed the larva animal dry feed but what ratio of feed to water in weight is good for larva growing from hatched egg to adult?

Can I blend the feed and water together to make a slop for them that has the right ratio?

4 Comments
2024/04/03
21:42 UTC

5

How to stop larvae climbing out

Why would they all be trying to get out? This is my second bin and I've managed to get eggs and lots of larvae, but they seem to be all climbing up the edges, even the little ones. Is this due to too much moisture or os there a way to stop them climbing out? I've got ramps which were collecting the prepupae but this morning they all seem to be climbing up. Thanks

5 Comments
2024/04/02
00:40 UTC

1

Lighting advice for small love cage

Hi! Really glad I found this subreddit; So, I've been going about raising feeder insects for my pet box turtles, and have been figuring out the best way to do BSF. Thanks to a decent variety of sources, I've acquired the following

Jump Start high output t5 grow light system with timer (have been using it grow a garden and was hoping to be able to use it for the flies as well), currently set to a 12 hour daily timer

and a small love cage (this is only going into feeding 2 box turtles (one of whom is still growing up)), roughly 24" x 24" x 36". Specifically, it's a RestCloud butterfly cage I ordered off amazon, with the growlight and garden right next to the cage (if perpendicular)

I've set up a heatpad underneath the cage, and put a small plastic container (on top of where the heatpad is) in the center, where the larva can have their food and water, and have a trap set above it for the mating

Anything else I should add? I figured I'd need to add more than just the heat pad (I know that heat one of the key components to them mating) to keep it warm in there, but it's the spectrum that I'm most uncertain of. I mean, is the grow light enough, or is there more I should get?

Apologies if the information is insufficient in any way, or I stumble over my words; just ask, and I will do my best to clarify

Any information is much appreciated!

4 Comments
2024/03/31
07:13 UTC

1

No larvae

I’ve got hundreds of flies trapped in a mosquito net set around each of my bins but I don’t see any new larvae or eggs. They’ve got plenty of cardboard to lay in, rotting fruits and enough substrate. Help?

8 Comments
2024/03/28
00:25 UTC

1

Crushed acorns in the bin

Has anyone every tried to add crushed acorns to their bin? I've got a whole bunch of acorns that aren't viable as seeds or food and I'm trying to determine if adding them to my BSFL bin would be bad due to the amount of tannins. I know that most, if not all, had been infested with acorn weevil larvae. Thoughts?

3 Comments
2024/03/21
13:05 UTC

2

Will they eat bones?

Newbie here! From what I understand there isn’t much they won’t eat. I know most chicken scraps are pretty safe but can I give them chicken/beef bones?

9 Comments
2024/03/19
20:32 UTC

5

Is this a black soldier fly larvae?

7 Comments
2024/03/16
18:18 UTC

1

Flies in with soldier flies

How can I keep flies out until the soldier fly bin takes off. I have a fair number of soldier fly larvae but it's not enough to discourage flies....I still have a lot of flies in the bin.

1 Comment
2024/03/15
15:39 UTC

1

Wheat flour

Is good to feed BSF with the rest of dough of white wheat flour and water and chicken fat?

2 Comments
2024/03/15
14:04 UTC

1

How big an entrance do BSF require?

Creating a BSFL tub and have drilled many small holes around the top but wondering if they're too small (also may not yet be warm enough). Any recommendations for hole widths or drill bit sizes? thanks!

0 Comments
2024/03/15
13:31 UTC

2

When do BSF start coming out? I'm on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina and just starting a BSF bin for my chickens.

We've been having warm days (up to 70 F) but some cold nights (some freezing nights in the forecast). I cant seem to find any specific times that they start coming out but we just started seeing house flies this week so I wonder if black soldier flies will follow soon. Does anyone live anywhere similar with experience on when you usually start seeing them?

6 Comments
2024/03/08
01:12 UTC

2

Compost heated system ?

https://preview.redd.it/v8vttmc92jkc1.png?width=1988&format=png&auto=webp&s=ca8af2f92dfbc0e005a66febd42b016585cf519c

The idea is to be able to produce BSF for longer in my climate (Normandy, France).
Would a system like this work ?

2 Comments
2024/02/24
12:40 UTC

1

Something I came across:

BSFs as a food source. Gives new meaning to the ‘bug juice’ I had as a kid at summer camp.

https://x.com/iluminatibot/status/1760809835086651735?s=42

0 Comments
2024/02/23
02:17 UTC

2

Will this set up work?

First time trying to breed BSFs. I have ramps up each side and a couple of sheets of cardboard hanging down above some food. Ive got a few larvae in the bottom and a couple of them have started to hatch already. Is there anything I'm missing?

13 Comments
2024/02/13
03:58 UTC

5

What is the “best” DIY BSFL bin design? Common struggles with ramps

in a 40g tub, the grubs were not all keen on using the ramp and many ended up stuck dead on ledges in the bin, despite my best efforts to make it accessible to them.

Upon reading through blog and YouTube comments for all the most common bin designs, this seems to be a common issue. What is the easiest and cheapest solution? Why does it happen?

3 Comments
2024/02/11
18:54 UTC

5

Anaerobic conditions?

Hello, I have been on the sub for years, the reddit 3rd party app killing lost my profile but I've posted and commented in here occasionally for years.

I'm looking into the extremes of environments that BSF live in and survive with good rates of survival (I understand this is subjective) In part I'm looking at the normal things people look at, temp, food sources, humidity, stocking density, ammonia build up.

One thing that honestly still surprises me is the extremes that BSF will live in, I've read about them being used to process fecal matter, and I saw a bioreactor demo on YouTube years ago that used bokashi fermentation in the same barrel as bugs.

What's the most extreme conditions you've kept yours in? Do you know of any studies you can point me towards that talk about the extremes? Or videos, anything so I can learn more.

I'm really interested in how they'd survive in an environment like bokashi fermented waste,not just fed it but actively surviving in it, I figure the swing in PH, fed to bugs and then added to standard compost would offer a great range of environments, hopefully killing any potential pathogens as well as a standard heat treatment if I do a secondary composting (I was thinking of a hot compost into a johnson-su or a soil factory)

Also does anybody keep worms with bsf and what have the results been, I understand I'm talking about mixing a lot of different things with different purposes and uses, but I do think they could work together really well, the bokashi helping to increase the % of bioconversion

7 Comments
2024/02/06
21:56 UTC

7

Lizard v BSFL

Accidentally squashed a blue tongue lizard with a barrel. Decided to feed it to the colony… which is ironic given I was feeding BSFL to the lizard a few days ago…

1 Comment
2024/02/06
11:06 UTC

2

how to reanimate the colony?

Everything was fine. The larva ate food and released heat. Then I decided to transfer it to another box. I threw some wet bread in there and everything turned into porridge. Many larvae died. The box became cold. I put the box in a warm place and added a new substrate, but the larvae don't eat anything. Can someone give advice on how to save the colony? I grow the larva in the house.

2 Comments
2024/02/04
16:04 UTC

1

I have my BSF eggies over chick mash; should it be moisten or dry mash fine?

1 Comment
2024/02/03
21:16 UTC

1

Sifting screen size for grass?

Does anyone have a size of sifting screen that works best for sifting out the grass? Measurement in microns or fractions of an inch?

1 Comment
2024/02/03
19:41 UTC

2

Prepupae shedding

Is this normal for prepupae or does this say something about my bin’s condition?

Thanks!

0 Comments
2024/02/01
22:25 UTC

5

Dermestids

There is a huge population of dermestid beetles that have taken up residence in my harvest bin. I don't think they're hurting anything but would like to get some out to maybe start a separate colony any ideas on getting them to migrate out? Do you guys think they are bad to have in there?

0 Comments
2024/01/29
22:29 UTC

1

Mold question

Hey everyone, first time feeding my bsfl in a tray. I used ground up chicken feed with water and put a small layer on top soil. They are down below wiggling around but the tray got all moldy. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!

1 Comment
2024/01/24
15:59 UTC

3

Pretreat waste?

I'm going to try BSF this spring and I saw this video https://youtu.be/5w2AP7JHRL4?si=QOBipqiMHJq85Uxp and that's the only reference I've seen to pretreating the food waste. I'm going to try it, I'll report back.

1 Comment
2024/01/20
02:29 UTC

2

Trash to Cash #insectprotein

0 Comments
2024/01/17
19:22 UTC

0

Trash to Cash

1 Comment
2024/01/13
19:05 UTC

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