Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Marco C.
Want to learn how to attract black soldier flies to your system? Read our step-by-step guide to become an expert!
Black Soldier Fly larvae are among some of the best, nutrient-packed food you can give to your fish. These flies are incredibly special for any garden system because they work to break down organic material very fast. Aside from that, your fish and other animals love to eat them!
So, not only are they providing a food source for your pets, but also organic fertilizer. In fact, black soldier flies are said to break down organic waste in just 24 to 36 hours!
Using them in your system will save you tons of money. This is because you no longer have to purchase food for your fish or fertilizer for your plants. Black soldier flies could be the solution to many agricultural problems.
But how to attract black soldier flies to come to your garden? If you cannot find them for sale locally, follow this guide to learn how to get them to come on their own!
Keep reading and in no time you will have black soldier flies working for you.
All About The Black Soldier Fly
Your first question may be: Why would I want to attract more flies to my land?
However, keep in mind that this particular species of fly is extremely harmless. In fact, they only help you.
Black soldier fly larvae can eat almost all kinds of organic material. Organic material is anything that is created by nature. This means that it can consume animal waste products, food scraps, lawn scraps, or anything natural!
Usually, people put the larvae directly into their compost bins. As they eat, they will continue to progress through their lifecycle. At some point, the larvae will turn into small pupae.
Pupae are the stage between being a larva and a fully realized fly.
Read more about: What Are Mosquito Dunks? Find Out Now!
When the black solider flies are pupaes, it is the perfect time to feed them to your animals. At this point, they are extremely high in protein. This means your animals do not need to eat too many of them to feel satisfied.
If you maintain this cycle of larvae to pupae to the food source, you will not have many actual flies developing. So, to answer your question: you do not have to worry about having a huge fly infestation in your house!
Before they become flies, they will be consumed by your animals. If you have too many pupae, you can put them in the sun to dry. This can then be used for food at a later source as needed.
Also, according to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, “The adults are not attracted to human habitation and thus pose a significantly lower risk of disease transmission than other fly species.” This means you have relatively nothing to worry about when working with black soldier flies.
The Black Soldier Fly How-to Guide
In fact, they can even help mitigate a housefly problem because they will eat the eggs that they lay in your compost.
Black soldier flies have quite a short life cycle. This means you have a fast turnaround for animal feed.
In order to raise black soldier flies successfully, there will be certain conditions you need to create.
The first important factor to consider is the temperature. In order to provide the most optimal conditions for your flies, you want to keep a very high temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It is at this temperature that black soldier fly larvae will eat fastest.
While you can keep your temperatures lower, it will slow the composting process. The absolute minimum temperature they can survive in is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Normally, compost piles get very hot from all the thermophilic activity. So, keeping it at 95 degrees should not be too difficult.
If you need to increase the temperature, you can stimulate your compost pile by turning it in every day for about 2 weeks. At some point, you will be able to see steam coming off your compost!
The next thing to consider is their diet. As mentioned, they are not very picky eaters. However, be sure to avoid overfeeding their coffee grounds, citrus, and meat products.
Lastly, try to keep your conditions at a 70 percent humidity level. This means that you need to keep your compost pile moist. If you notice it is dry, simply add water to your pile.
If your pile is not moist, the black soldier flies will grow slower.
Now to the important question: How to attract black soldier flies?
What Do Black Soldier Flies Eat?
If you cannot purchase larvae, you will need to find a way to attract them into your pile. To do this, simply use the foods that black soldier flies like to eat.
Black soldier flies love rotting vegetables. You can use anything that has a very strong odor and put it outside in your compost pile. Try to use old eggs, rotting fish scraps, or chicken poop.
The second aspect is that you need to create a place for the flies to lay their eggs. So when they are attracted to the smell, they will be able to establish a new home there.
They like to lay eggs in small crevices for protection. To mimic this, you can use stacks of cardboard or wood. Place them in your compost area. Once you see the eggs being laid, you can easily move them to another area to develop into larvae.
Keep an eye on your wood stacks to see any evidence of BSF eggs. The nice thing about attracting your own flies is that you are sure to get a local variety that thrives in your area.
Also, it is cheaper than buying your own and more sustainable. Black soldier flies are a great addition to any system. Now you know how to attract black soldier flies all on your own.
Share your experience here and feel free to comment below!
What do black soldier flies eat?
The next thing to consider is their diet. As mentioned, they are not very picky eaters. However, be sure to avoid overfeeding them coffee grounds, citrus and meat products.
Candace is an aquaponics expert with over 5 years of experience in the field. She has a degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley and a degree in aquaponics from the University of Florida. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and has a deep knowledge of aquaculture and hydroponics. She has worked on numerous projects and has been involved in the development of aquaponic systems and fish farms. She also has experience in designing and constructing aquaponic systems. With her expertise, Candace is able to advise clients on the most effective and efficient way to construct and manage their aquaponic system. She is an active member of the aquaponic community, often speaking at conferences and seminars. Candace is dedicated to helping others understand the importance of aquaponics, and she is a strong advocate for sustainable food production.