Black Soldier Fly Larvae in compost bin

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Black Soldier Fly Larvae in compost bin
Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Monday, June 18, 2012 - 10:08 am
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It sounds like you have more of a worm bin than a compost bin. I get mango and avocado saplings all the time in my worm bin which is the only place that I've had soldier flies. My regular compost pile must get too hot.

Author: Pizza (Pizza)
Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 9:21 am
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Quick update. The first compost bin is done, and the larvae stopped a week or two after I stopped feeding it. The larvae left me with quite a bit of leachate, which I am told makes very good fertilizer, diluted 1:100 (!)
Now mango saplings are sprouting out of the bin left, right and centre, I guess I'll use the compost ASAP and I'll leave out the kernels from my compost heaps until I can get them to reach higher temperatures.

Now the second bin has normal flies/fly larvae in, it must be their time of the year!

Author: Pizza (Pizza)
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 10:46 pm
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The larvae seem to come out only in the evening. The situation is fairly under control for now, only about 5 escapees per night, and I think a gecko and a sparrow are helping out with the cleanup.

The other day I changed my cover material from rotted leaves/weeds (basically humus) to dry hay. It wasn't a good idea at all, odour-wise, so switching back now.

Author: Knothead (Knothead)
Monday, May 14, 2012 - 6:52 pm
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Put a chicken on your balcony and you won't ever have to worry about an escapee. I usually get BSF larvae in my worm bins in summer. The girls love them. They don't give a crap for earthworms, but they love the BSF larvae. Go figure.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 9:50 pm
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Pizza, lucky you that you have the Cadillac of scavengers! There are a number of commercially available culture bins for BSF, but basically you need to let them leave the bin to pupate and become adults. Here is a low-cost apparatus which enables them to complete their life cycle:

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/how-to-build-a-diy-black-soldier-fly-grub-composter-video.html

Author: Pizza (Pizza)
Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 11:37 pm
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Hi there,

I live in a flat at the tropics (Hong Kong). The bin on my balcony has reached a respectable temperature on the top section (didn't measure, but I gather around 40 degrees Celsius = 100 F). Last week I found maggots in my compost bin. I asked a local farmer and was told that this is normal. I did some research and they are Black Soldier Fly Larvae - the description and pictures match, and I even started seeing a couple of those frightless silly flies in my house.
This is fine by me, and I know that these larvae are supposedly good scavengers. However, when the larvae enter the "gray" stage, they get out of the pile and look for a dark, dry place to start pupating.

This is a big problem, for two reasons:
1. The nutrients are crawling out of my compost!
2. The wife is extremely grossed out and threatening to get rid of the bin. I think neighbours wouldn't be impressed either if they found out, and I feel it's just a matter of time.

Your advice is welcome.
I am composting only fruit/veg scraps for now, and I use rotted leaves/weeds as cover material. I think the various elements (temperature, moisture, C/N, oxygen) are fine, so I will be focussing on bin design.
Currently I am using a 30cm (12in) wire mesh cylinder, standing upright. I am thinking of putting the bottom in a bucket and somehow prevent them from coming out, while still keeping aeration going.

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