Amazing Meat Eaters

Elbourne(8b)July 13, 2013

This summer black soldier fly larvae invaded my worm bin. Instead of combating them,, I've been feeding them. I am amazed at how quickly they can process food scraps. I read that they not only consume vegetation, but you can give them meat and other things you would usually keep out of the compost or worm bins.

The other night I decided to experiment. I threw a little chicken wing into the bin. The next morning, the wing had vanished. I wondered what they would do with a half eaten rotisserie chicken carcass. I dropped it in. Late that afternoon I took a peak and the BSFL had sucked half the bird under the surface of the castings. The next morning, the entire chicken was gone. I used a little garden spade to dig around, some of the bones were sort of left, but the little carnivores had pretty much completely eaten an entire chicken in 24 hours. Amazing!

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11otis

yep, they'll do that and their poop is supposedly excellent worm food.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 2:12AM
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chuckiebtoo

BSF suck! (pardon the pun)

The negatives far outweight the one plus (efficiency at pre-composting worm food). The negatives: they act like schizophrenic psychopathic drug addicts on bad speed trips with severe cases of spastic, involuntary and uncontrollable flight patterns who like to get right in your face while hovering about an inch from your nose and performing zig-zag maneuvers as if they're trying to decide which of your nostrils to fly into...all the while making ear-splitting buzzing noises like ordinary, cute little house flies amplified to the intensity of infinity.

And that's just my experience long ago when a few of them got into one bin. I can only imagine how disconcerting the experience would be if someone encouraged them to co-habitate a once peaceful worm composting operation. I'd imagine mandatory ear and nose protection...as well as a healthy disregard for the unintended consequences of creating a safe haven for the monster of the fly kingdom in your immediate surroundings, or community.

That said, I can't say enough about my disregard for the intentional infestation of a thing of beauty like a working worm bin with these flying environmental disasters.

I'll just let my worm food ripen a few days in a decomp pot before insertion. (That's where the patience comes in)

Chuckiebtoo

Moderation, Diversity, Patience

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:06AM
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boreal_wormer(Alta Canada)

Chuckiebtoo experiences aside the adults are rarely seen as they exist only to mate and lay eggs. They are not pest flies and do not transmit diseases.

"SF larvae can digest over 15 kilograms per day of restaurant food waste per square meter of feeding surface area, or roughly 3 lbs per square foot per day. A 95% reduction in the weight and volume of this waste was also noted. This means that for every 100 lbs of restaurant food waste deposited into a unit, only 5 lbs of a black, friable residue remain!"(link)

Here is a link that might be useful: BlackSoldierFlyForums

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:39PM
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chuckiebtoo

Rarely is way too often. Never again is the only choice anyone makes who actually does have one zig-zagging at a hundred mph trying to decide which nostril....and lung.... they want to lay their devil-eggs in.

Besides, I don't have a restaurant, and will never have enough compost worms to keep up with their maniacal poop-producing properties.

Oh, I KNOW all their amazing "qualities" are both impressive and depressing at the same time. If I were in things for Guinness Book of World Records, I'd plant kudzu in my yard for the greenery.

And this is all about "Moderation".

Chuckiebtoo

Moderation, Diversity, Patience

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:38PM
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11otis

I catch any BSFL I find in my worm bins, put in a vial and freeze it. Once full, my neighbour gets them for their fish. Just imagine how many millions of future BSF I prevented from laying more eggs.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 2:11PM
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