black soldier fly larvae

I was turning the compost earlier this afternoon and ewwwww, whole mess of them. I looked them up on a web site and see that these should be beneficial for my compost. The compost pile is not close to the entrance of the house. I leave the top open on the composter. There is an ick factor here. I really do not like flies. Do you think birds in the back yard will migrate over there and eat them? Should I close the top on the composter? (That makes no sense--I know.) I don't put meat or dairy in there.

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  • I had those same larvae all over my compost bin too, until it got too cold.. now I think they're wintering.   I did a little internet reasearch myself and it says when they're in there they keep other flies away, process your compost pretty quickly, and as flies don't spread disease like regular flies do. 

       The soldier flies themselves don't last long- only a day or two.. and are big, slow moving ones that almost look like wasps and they don't spread anything gross.   As a fly they are not able to eat and die within a few days... just long enough to produce the next batch of grubs.

        I gave some larvae to a friend of mine who built a harvester and was able to save a LOT of money feeding his iguana....



  • The fliesa lso don't like people, so they stay away from them and give off a pheromone that house flies don't like, so it keeps them away.
  • I also have soldier flies in my compost. I usually see them floating in my compost tea bucket when I start a new batch. I don’t mind because they apparently compost material faster and more efficiently than worms.

  • We use hand shovels to get them out, but yeah :) enjoy

    There is also a black soldier fly harvester that can be built quite simply if you don't want to dig them out of your compost
    • It was so cold! I didn't see them, figured they were hunkered down, gave the chickens a quick field trip into the yard & will catch the larva later in the weekend. Happy New Year. Like the hand shovel advice, I was planning on doing the work gloves.
  • Ah, ok. So, I will reach into the compost bag and grab the larva and feed it to my chickens who will later poop it out and I will put that into the compost. Yea. The circle of life continues in northwest Phoenix. I'll go do it now. I might start drinking later..


    Happy New Year !

  • We feed them to our chickens. They LOVE them!
  • Hi Jeanette

    When it rains my compost bin looks like something from a horror movie. I've seen birds inside my compost as well as eating them when they crawl out to the ground. I would leave it open.

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