Black soldier fly larvae

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This article includes only obscure information, as an appendix to what is covered on the more popular sites such as the Wikipedia article. You probably want to start with one of those.

Soldier grubs are a detritivore.


Captive breeding[edit]

Greenhouses[edit]

Tarvus reports that BSFs were breeding and staying in temps of 120 degrees F (at the top of his greenhouse in Florida). This is surprising given that BSFL are said to crawl off at around 100 degrees F.

I thought this may become too hot in the summer in Florida and may harm the BSFL colonies. The bins were on the ground so they are earth-cooled. He was also using a trashcan full of water as a heat retainer. It seemed that I should be able to get enough BSFL eggs during the summer to fill my containers and exhaust my food supplies but Robert Oliver says that a commercial production would require a greenhouse.



Netting material[edit]

Apparently Heather Twist has been able to breed soldier flies with only a netting tent above a grub bin. They lay eggs in sawdust directly near the feed. Prior to this I have only heard of captive breeding in larger greenhouses.

"The flies seem to like the white net for mating ... maybe the white reflects the light more so it seems brighter to them."[1]

"It's from the local thrift store. I bought a lot of old curtain material to make "veggie bags" ... old curtains are really CHEAP and nearly indestructible. Worst case you buy the curtain material at the sewing store ... it's still very very cheap."[2]



Obtaining soldier grubs[edit]

Attracting egg-bearing females[edit]

Egg "traps"[edit]

It is recommended to make "egg traps" that the females like to lay their eggs in. Here are some instructions: Three layers of cardboard, 2.5 x 5 cm blocks, smaller size cardboard is preferred; three flutes per centimeter. Tape two to 5 cm above the wet feed. use more water in the feed to discourage egg laying in the feed.



Buying soldier grubs online[edit]

Phoenix Worms are sometimes unavailable[edit]

Phoenix Worms are often sold on Ebay and from a number of suppliers that can be found by searching the web for "Phoenix Worm". If you know of other distributors please mention them. I thought we should make some threads in the BioPod forum and other forums, for those seeking to buy or sell BSFL.



CompostMania[edit]

$32.50 + $8.95 shipping = $41.45 for approximately 1000 live Black Soldier Fly juveniles[3] ~ Lumenos (talk) 17:55, May 26, 2011 (EDT)



Reptiworms[edit]

http://reptiworms.com/ Wikipedia claimed this was a year-round distributer. ~ Lumenos 08:45, January 4, 2011 (EST)



WormMan-- cheap but crafty (or confusing)[edit]

I wanted to order some BSFL from WormMan. They say you can order by PayPal which I would prefer, but the only option is to 'send payment'. There are so many bad reviews of this site (maybe because, as they say, they allow you to buy worms when the weather may be too hot for the worms to survive) and they don't respond to email. Lumenos 22:23, June 22, 2010 (UTC)

I had a very bad experience with the Wormman also. I had to go to the BBB(Better Business Bureau) to get a refund for a product that was never sent.



Prices[edit]

Prices for "Soldier Grubs" on 11:30, September 7, 2010 (EDT):

1 cup Small medium or large $10.95. All cups have 100 Soldier Grubs per cup except small which has 150 grubs per cup. 4 cups $24.95 Delivered! 8 Cups $39.95 Delivered!



Location[edit]

Postal address for checks and money orders:

Worm Man's Worm Farm 116 Pergola Avenue Monroe Twp., NJ 08831



Unavailable or prices not public?[edit]

Nutritional and medicinal value[edit]



Sanitation[edit]

Myiasis or psuedomyiasis[edit]

There have been some cases of BSFL being eaten and surviving in the body although they are not normally a parasitic species. Wikipedians edit warred a little over how rare this is[4] and someone deleted this link to a Spanish source, but I don't know who or why.



Visibility[edit]

There are many videos of people putting their bare hands through soldier grub colonies. IIRC Robert Olivier wrote that the newly hatched grubs can be the size of a "grain of flour". A wikipedian claims the "larvae range in size from 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch (3 to 19 millimeters)."[5]

While using intensive captive breeding Heather Twist posted this:

"I moved around "the stuff" in the bin to see how the grubs were doing. Lots and lots of grubs. Naturally I wore gloves ... they were eating poultry sludge from the bottom of the cage. I dropped the glove off in a wheelbarrow full of dirt that I use for potting.

Today I went to pick up the glove. It was loaded with teeny little grubs, probably BSFs. That has never happened before.

[...]

I noticed the tiny babies sticking to the bigger grubs."[6]



With thermophilic composting[edit]



Repelling other fly species[edit]

"BSF larvae communicate chemically with virtually all other fly species, including fruit flies and houseflies, letting them know that they will starve them out if these other species attempt to take up residence. As a result, a system that has significant numbers of BSF larvae will support NO other fly species. It is one of the many reasons we love this larvae for manure management!" source link - Kelly Slocum (seems to know a lot about worms)



In containers, on ground, or on high-cellulose materials[edit]

Soldier grubs are raised in soldier grub bins (eg BioPod) or in compost piles.

Where ever the liquid "tea" goes, solder flies may lay their eggs near it, instead of in the egg traps.

For sanitation (esp. for manure) Lumenos hasn't yet figured out whether it would be better to raise grubs in thermophilic compost pile, with high-cellulose materials such as dry leaves, twigs, or paper.



Combining redworm composting[edit]

Soldier grubs tend to overheat redworms, in combined systems. Lumenos should be conducting experiments to try to combine soldier grub composting with redworm composting by giving the redworms access to the cool, moist ground, or lots of high-cellulose material in a contained system.



See also[edit]