A bug infestation in my worm bin

jwilson_gardenerDecember 10, 2009

I have a bug infestation in my worm bin, and they don't look like any of the usual suspects I've read about. I posted a photo which I hope might clear things up. They're about the size of a fruit fly or smaller.

I always cover everything in my worm bin with at least an inch (usually more like two inches) of shredded paper and I cover all of that loosely with sheets of cardboard. The bedding feels spongy but not wet, so I don't *think* it's a moisture issue. I also stopped feeding about a month ago to see if maybe I was overfeeding, but the little buggers persist. These little bugs are ALL OVER the inside of the lid and the top of the cardboard when I open the lid, but when I pull back the cardboard they're in the bedding too. The bigger problem is that they're escaping now and are all over my kitchen. They go straight for windows and light sources. I can't figure out what they are, but I need to control the population or the worm bin will have to stay outside. I can't have insects inside in that number.

Any help would be very very greatly appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: The bug in question

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I just thought of this too, might be helpful info: I almost never feed the worms fruit. Citrus is a definite never food in my bin, but I also very rarely feed anything else that's very sweet. Sometimes they get a mushy apple or tomato, but it's not a regular thing. They get a variety of veggies, but not much fruit.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Looks to be a Black Soldier Fly.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:35PM
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boreal_wormer(Alta Canada)

Hard to tell from the photo but Black Soldier flies have white rear legs (see link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: Identifying Black Soldier Flies

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:02PM
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Kinda late in the year. BSFLs are dormant in NC now.
I have a wash tub full of them.
Sleeping like babys.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:51PM
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Photo is fuzzy. And didn't know the location of the poster. Lat year I've had BSF hatch out all winter from the bins that I brought inside.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 8:04AM
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Inside the house or heated garage?
My garage has no heat so things get real slow down there.
When the BSFs are hatching, say August, September, I would find a dozen on the windows in the garage. None now.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 8:51AM
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Inside house.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:59AM
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plumiebear(z9? CA)

Looks like a Black Soldier fly to me, too, but all the ones I've seen are much larger than fruit flies. If they're inside an indoor worm bin then they were just hatching. If they were hatching you should have noticed larvae in your bin - hard to miss those.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:02PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Sorry, not a solder fly.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 2:57PM
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Hi all,

Thanks for trying to ID the little critters. Sorry the photo is fuzzy. It was in macro mode and the things are so little I couldn't get a clear shot.

They don't have white legs, and they don't get any bigger than a fruit fly. I'm quite sure they're not a soldier fly. I haven't seen any of the telltale larvae in the bin and they're not getting to the size of a soldier fly.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. If I can't get them under control I have to scrap the worm bin idea until it can be kept in a garage someday.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 2:19PM
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jwilson gardener if you could include with your picture an object of known size, a penny, a pen cap, a ruler, an M&M it might help. Although they do not have the white legs of BSLF they are acting like them by flooding the windows.

Can you either open the bin and the garage doors or drag the unit outside? At the same time open all the kitchen windows to set everyone free.

Keep the bin outside until the situation stabalizes.

You may of just discovered a composter better than even BSFL. Maybe you should be capturing them and selling them?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 1:25AM
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    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 2:45PM
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