Soldier fly maggots and anerobic smell
I've had to move my Can o' Worms bin outside during our home remodeling. Today I discovered an explosion of soldier fly maggots writhing in my top rack. My worms have retreated to the bottom rack.
I've read now on HappyDFarms's invertebrate page ( http://www.happydranch.com/8.html ) and Working Worms ( http://blog.working-worms.com/2009/08/black-soldier-fly-or-not/ ) that these maggots are not really harmful to the worms, as long as the latter get food wherever they retreat to.
I was surprised however, that the bin suddenly has a putrid anerobic smell to it ... very different from the usual good-compost smell ... and the top layer is now stained black, not at all like the typical appearance. I hadn't overfed or given any different types of food. Is there something about the soldier fly maggots that give their surroundings this awful smell and appearance? I'm thinking that I should maybe toss that top layer out onto a remote part of my yard and let the birds have at the maggots and rebuild the compost (hopefully worm-only) in the upper rack.
Any insights or advice? (I've been worm composting with this unit for maybe 10 years, and this is the first soldier fly maggot infestation I've had.)
Also, if I do toss out my top bin, is the bottom likely to be free of maggots (as long as I can't see any active)? Or are there usually tiny eggs that will hatch over a long time and I'm looking at long-term bin-management headache?
-- Mike in San Jose, Calif.