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Compost Bin Full Of Black Soldier Fly Larvae


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Started a small compost out in the yard in a black garbage bin about one month ago. I cut out the bottom and poked a bunch of holes along the sides with a hot piece of rebar. I then have layered some dried grass and leaves with a little dirt with the bulk of the material being kitchen scrapes and old fruit. About a week ago, I noticed large larvae about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long and slightly grey/brown in colour active throughout the bin. Today I had a peek and found some serious clumps of these larvae on banana leaves near the top. They appear very active and the compost bin that I thought was going to quickly overflow is now receding faster than I can dump in new material. For those of you who have experience in composting, have you encountered these larvae? I don't see any worms (yet), just fruit flies and maggots that are largely being pushed out by these larger larvae. Doing some googling, I found that these are likely Black Soldier Fly larvae and are excellent composters. The insect itself is not harmful in anyway and seems to be quite useful at composting waste with higher moisture content like kitchen waste.

Any of you more experienced with composting in LOS, I welcome your thoughts and any confirmation that these are BSF larvae. I didn't see any reference to them in Thailand on a quick search online.

Whatever they are, they are doing the job!

http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/showimage/4771/

I didn't get as close as this guy did to the larvae but they look like this..

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  • 10 months later...
  • 11 months later...

Can I suggest the pleasant farming forum? There are some guys over there that really know their stuff and really into their composting. I think you will find your answer there.

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Can I suggest the pleasant farming forum? There are some guys over there that really know their stuff and really into their composting. I think you will find your answer there.

Even though it is a two year old topic, might be of interest to other members.

Moved to farming forum.

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Anyone who has a colony of BSF larvae in their compost bin, but would rather not, send me your details and I will PAY you for them. I have been trying to get hold of them for years. Fantastic source of animal protein and generator of worm food.

For those who have larvae, they will try to migrate to pupate in the soil. Happy to share details if you cant find out on the web.

Quote from a favourite movie, Snatch, "You, Lucky Bastard!"

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Can I suggest the pleasant farming forum? There are some guys over there that really know their stuff and really into their composting. I think you will find your answer there.

Even though it is a two year old topic, might be of interest to other members.

Moved to farming forum.

(Got to take care of the mods when they do something good.)

What do you mean "MIGHT"?

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  • 6 months later...

Anyone who has a colony of BSF larvae in their compost bin, but would rather not, send me your details and I will PAY you for them. I have been trying to get hold of them for years. Fantastic source of animal protein and generator of worm food.

For those who have larvae, they will try to migrate to pupate in the soil. Happy to share details if you cant find out on the web.

Quote from a favourite movie, Snatch, "You, Lucky Bastard!"

I've got loads of them. Not sure how they showed up, but once they did, I started breeding them on purpose. They are great for getting rid of fatty scraps that would otherwise smell up the compost. They multiply very quickly, and have short life cycles, so good for dynamic composting.

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Green eyed envy here. I just cannot get BSF near here.

IA, I'm in Chiang mai. Not sure how they would fare in the post, or how many you would need. It does not take very many to get started, a single female lays over a thousand eggs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haha, I remember this from years ago. Going down to the compost heap one morning carrying a plastic bag and cardboard box with IA's name on it only to find the whole lot had disappeared! One day there was hundreds crawling all over the compost, next day all I could find was 3!rolleyes.gif 'And IA still has no black soldier flies. I feel a mission coming on.biggrin.png

Regards.

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Haha, I remember this from years ago. Going down to the compost heap one morning carrying a plastic bag and cardboard box with IA's name on it only to find the whole lot had disappeared! One day there was hundreds crawling all over the compost, next day all I could find was 3!rolleyes.gif 'And IA still has no black soldier flies. I feel a mission coming on.biggrin.png

Regards.

Same here.

I had loads of the larvae and promised some to IA.

Then the local chickens moved in and ripped the whole pile apart.

Nowadays I just see a few here and there. The only way I can get a decent ampount of BSFL would be if I took effective steps to keep the chickens out. It's almost like they can smell them and will rip through anything to get at them.

I covered a compost pile with an old thick quilt and the chickens tore it to pieces in one day

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Thanks for the efforts on my behalf guys. I am starting to think that BSF farming for protein is harder than catching the buggers in the firstplace. Still none here and about as much interest here now.

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Haha, I remember this from years ago. Going down to the compost heap one morning carrying a plastic bag and cardboard box with IA's name on it only to find the whole lot had disappeared! One day there was hundreds crawling all over the compost, next day all I could find was 3!rolleyes.gif 'And IA still has no black soldier flies. I feel a mission coming on.biggrin.png

Regards.

Same here.

I had loads of the larvae and promised some to IA.

Then the local chickens moved in and ripped the whole pile apart.

Nowadays I just see a few here and there. The only way I can get a decent ampount of BSFL would be if I took effective steps to keep the chickens out. It's almost like they can smell them and will rip through anything to get at them.

I covered a compost pile with an old thick quilt and the chickens tore it to pieces in one day

I protect my compost mound with wire mesh. The chickens can only penetrate a few inches.

But alas I have no bsfl either.

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Thanks for the efforts on my behalf guys. I am starting to think that BSF farming for protein is harder than catching the buggers in the firstplace. Still none here and about as much interest here now.

Actually they are self-harvesting. The larvae will crawl up to the top of the compost when they are ready to pupate. All you need to do is make a ramp with a collection container under it, and they should drop in when they are ready. Of course birds can be an issue, I frequently see small finches eating mine but not enough to make a real impact. You could keep it covered as canu. suggest.

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  • 1 month later...

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