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Terminology

BSF = Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens)

BSFL = Black Soldier Fly Larvae

ABSF = Adult Black Soldier Fly

HF = House Fly (Musca domestica)

HFM = House Fly Maggots

GSF = Garden Soldier Fly (Exeraita Spinigera)

SF = Soldier Fly

Leachate = From Wiki: "Leachate is a widely used term in the Environmental sciences where it has the specific meaning of a liquid that has dissolved or entrained environmentally harmful substances which may then enter the environment. It is most commonly used in the context of land-filling of putrescible or industrial waste."

What is a black soldier fly?

Hermetia illucens is a common fly of the Stratiomyidae family. The BSF has recently become a huge topic in the compost world because of its ability to convert food scraps into useful product in a super fast speed. It can compost food waste most worm farmers avoid giving their worms to compost like meats with ease.

What does it look like?

Similar in size and appearance to a wasp with no sting the black soldier fly is, as the name suggests, black in colour.

Where are they found

We are currently adding black soldier fly sightings and business listings to a map. Visit the map to see current locations. Help populate the map with your own sightings and BSF interests by adding your own listing.

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What can they eat?

Actually BSF's don't eat but their larvae can and do eat all organic material. A black Soldier Fly will only drink water. Examples of BSFL foods are: food waste/scraps, carrion (dead animals), manure. Its interesting to note that 1 meter square of BSFL eat about 15 kgs a day. It should be added that BSFL do not eat high cellulose items but they do break them down enough to make it much easier for worms to eat.

Are they safe to humans?

Black Soldier Flies generally stay away from humans. They don't eat and no sting or venom, so really have no way of harming humans. As their entire adult life is all about mating and reproducing, they generally will not be seen at all by humans.

How long does a BSF live?

Adult BSF's live for 5-8 days. In this time they must find a mate and lay eggs. The eggs take about 4 days to hatch, and then the larvae will take roughly 2 weeks before they are ready to pupate (become adults). When they are ready to pupate they will find a dry sheltered area to bury themselves in before taking roughly 2 weeks to emerge as adult BSF's. This is all assuming that perfect conditions are present. The length of a Black Soldier Flies life before it becomes an adult depends on several factors including weather conditions and how much food is available.

So what's so good about them?

BSF's in their pre-pupae larval stage are super efficient in converting waste to nutrients. As mentioned earlier, one square meter of BSFL will eat 15 kg daily and convert this waste to nutrients (they are 45% protein) which can feed poultry, reptiles, swine, fish, etc.

 

What is a BSF farm?

A BSF Farm is a farm like any that successfully maintains continual Black Soldier Fly life cycles. A BSF life cycle is short lived. From eggs to larvae to pupae to fly can be as quick 4 weeks but the larvae can slow there growth to last up to 9 months. The adult BSF however is not so lucky, It has a max of 8 days to mate and lay eggs.

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