Black Soldier Flies: From waste to food

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So a few years back I decided I wanted to have a earthworm farm. I’m not sure why I wanted them. But I wanted them. I think it was for vermi-compost and to start to be less wasteful with after dinner scraps. So I grabbed a large tub filled it with some leaves, dirt, newspaper, a little water and some scraps…oh and then earthworms. For awhile they did great. Then I started to get these little worms. Which really made me mad. This was supposed to be for earthworms. How did these guys even get in there? And when it got real hot out they would start to crawl out and leave this mucky trail all around the bin. My wife was not happy that her deck was covered in these things. There were literally hundreds crawling on our deck one day. So I had to dump it.

Cut to a few years later I decided to try again. Guess what happened..the same thing. So I got the gumption to look these up and find out how to get them out of my bin. What I found out is that these little powerhouses are amazing. They eat practically everything, and require even less supervision than the earthworms do. Now that is my cup of tea…less work!

Now when I said eat everything I mean it. You put a dead rat in there…gone, an old hamburger…gone, left over breakfast…gone, and if given enough time…bones. So how did I figure this out and what did I do? Well I researched it and researched it, until i found a guy who sold a special black soldier fly larvae bin. AWESOME! well the price tag was not awesome. So…I cried a little inside and came to realize one of my strong suits: “necessity is the mother of invention” and I started to create my own.

Here is what I started with…try #1.

black soldier fly bsfl
Inside the trash can with my coiled tube.
black soldier fly bucket bsfl
Here is a look at the cut tube and the tube poking out for the larvae to fall out. I hung a bucket from that and it would catch them.
black soldier fly bucket bsfl
Here is a look at the bottom of the tube which was cut to allow them to get in it as it filled up.










(Here is an opportunity to learn from my mistakes). I took a perfectly round trashcan and screwed some hefty plastic tubes in it, about 2 inches in diameter. By doing this the little buggers would circle the bottom, hit the coiled ramp, go up up the ramp and out the hole into my bucket. Well it worked!! But I was only getting a few, however I didn’t really know what the norm was. So I threw everything in there that the chickens could not eat, like other dead chickens, some rats my dog caught…anything. And I slowly would get larvae and feed my chickens, who LOVED them. They also work for great fish bait. Now after awhile I had a small problem. It stank, and I was getting more maggots than bsfl (black soldier fly larvae). So I needed to figure out a way to counter act these things. I needed a new plan.

Stay tuned for more on black soldier flies and how to make amazing compost, and excellent chicken food. Part 2 is coming soon.


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