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Category: Bed Bug Bites | 20.10.2015
Maggots, like the soldier fly larvae shown here, are used in forensic investigation while other fly larvae are used for medical purposes, such as wound treatment. Once the soldier fly larva hatch from the eggs, they begin to really show their usefulness.
If soldier fly larva seem to be taking over and crowding out the regular earthworms in compost, however, begin burying kitchen waste underneath at least 4 inches of leaves, paper and other brown materials, and cut back on the moisture that available to the pile. The fly larvae are very active, so active that they’ll make your compost bin soggy, warm, and in some cases slightly acidic. One of the strangest insects encountered around the home is the larva of the stratiomyid (strat tee oh MY id), or soldier, fly.
The most common species of soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, is commonly considered a filth fly because of its habit of breeding in manure and garbage.
Soldier flies are harmless to people, and serve a beneficial role in helping decompose garbage and filth. The best control for this insect is to locate and eliminate the soldier fly’s breeding source.
Under the right conditions, soldier fly larvae can reduce the weight of accumulated manure by half. Tomberlin expects to find the same manure-reduction techniques that work with poultry can be adapted to Central Texas dairy farms and other livestock operations, including feedyards.
Tomberlin does know that when large numbers of soldier fly eggs are introduced to a manure pile, the resulting larvae can reduce dry weight of the manure by 30 percent to 50 percent in two weeks.
The soldier fly occurs naturally in Texas, but unlike other fly species, it does not invade houses or become a pest to domestic animals.
Even better, Tomberlin said, introducing black solder flies to manure can actually reduce the numbers of house flies because the two species compete for larval habitat. With plenty of food (manure) and maintained at the right temperature, soldier fly larvae can mature in two weeks.
Throughout the three months, Tomberlin and Bob Whitney, Extension agricultural and natural resources agent in Comanche County, weighed the accumulated manure and took samples to estimate house fly larval populations. The pre-pupa stage of the larva has emptied its gut of waste and stored up fat in preparation for metamorphosis into an adult. Because he was more interested in manure reduction over time, Tomberlin couldn’t screen the entire contents of any given tray for house fly larvae.

One interesting note: The house fly larvae counts were actually higher in the piles treated with the pyrethroid insecticide.
He also thinks inoculating piles with larger numbers of soldier fly larvae would show better results. Tomberlin also said the use of black soldier fly larvae should be well adapted for small- and medium-size livestock producers.
We have been seaching for a reliable source of  Black Soldier Fly Larva for a few years. The Black Soldier Flies normally lay their eggs near rotting material, animal manures and even kitchen scraps.
Chickens can hunt the Larvae themselves, or chicken owners can buy or design special growing chambers for BSFL. If soldier flies inhabit a compost, it is because they are exploiting a natural resource for them and speeding the transformation of waste to something that supports green plants. The larval form of the soldier fly is a segmented, maggot-like creature that can be quite alarming to the uninitiated.  Both the larva and the adult, however, are harmless.
Pre-pupal larvae are fully grown larvae that have stopped feeding and begun a time of wandering before pupating (changing into an adult, or in this case the fly, form). A dead bird or rodent in an attic or chimney may also be the reason for soldier fly or blow fly infestations.
The larvae themselves are harmless and can be picked up by hand, or with a tissue, and discarded. Soldier fly larvae compete with the common housefly for habitat yet do not themselves tend to invade houses. The eggs hatch into larvae that eat the manure as if it’s caviar, growing into fat little creatures that are 40 percent or more protein.
Whether the larvae can be recycled as livestock feed is another question, but he has plans to investigate this as well with feeding trials. Jeff Tomberlin, entomologist with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, holds about a half pound of soldier fly larvae. While they may be ugly to the average gardener, soldier flies in compost actually benefit the area. Even with hundreds of Larvae squirming in the bin, only a few adult flies will be seen at any one time.

Every few days I would recommend that you check your Worm Bins and if necessary remove any BSF Larvae that might have taken up residence. The larval stage of the soldier fly feeds on decaying organic material including manure and very moist, rotting vegetable matter. During this wandering phase, larvae may travel several yards from the breeding site, and may be seen wriggling along a floor, patio, or fireplace hearth. The chickens do what chickens do naturally, eat the worm-like larvae with relish, said Tomberlin, who has a joint appointment with Texas Cooperative Extension and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Tomberlin is investigating the use of the soldier fly to turn livestock manure into a source of protein and energy for poultry, while reducing numbers of the common housefly. Eight of the other trays were sprayed with a commonly used fly control pyrethroid pesticide. Breeders report that hatchlings that are fed soldier fly larva right from the start are more than 30% larger than their clutch mates after just a few weeks! Rather than trying to get rid of them as with other compost pests, you might be better off learning about soldier flies and all the good they can do.
The fly portion of this insect’s life is spent flying around and mating, then laying eggs and dying within two days. After allowing manure to accumulate for two weeks, he inoculated four of the manure buildups with 2,000 immature black soldier fly larvae. They also note higher activity levels and brighter colors for the babies that were fed soldier fly larva .My turtles absolutely love these! You find many people who raise chickens, welcome Black Soldier Flies up to the point of even buying special growing chambers for these tiny creators. They are frequently found in compost piles and are being sold by at least one manufacturer for use in specially designed containers to quickly decompose kitchen waste (similar to earthworms in earthworm bins).  Occasionally, soldier flies infest animal carcasses. This is because naturally occurring house fly larvae also reduce manure, though not to the degree as do black soldier fly larvae, Tomberlin said. This is because soldier fly larvae are one of several insects that may scavenge waste materials in bee combs.

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Comments to Soldier fly larvae farm

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