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How to Raise Black Soldier Flies

Updated on December 28, 2011
Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Black Soldier Fly Larvae | Source

This Hub is pretty much a teaser for my upcoming E-book. It does contain enough information on raising black soldier fly larvae to get you started though!

I really love these guys and treat them like the rest of my livestock. They get good care and healthy growing conditions. They are being used in my permaculture farm and we cannot be happier with the results!

When my E-book hits the Internet, it will contain A LOT of detailed information on raising not only black soldier flies, but red wigglers and many more wonderful permaculture types of animals and plants.

I fully believe this is the way God intended people to live and garden. Taking care of your land is a great tribute to not only your fellow man, but God as well!

This is not a complete breeding article. This setup will keep your soldier flies alive and healthy but harvesting will be tricky. I can't give it all away for free, can I?

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Drill Bit for Soldier Fly Bins
Drill Bit for Soldier Fly Bins | Source

Things You Will Need:

  • Black Soldier Fly Larvae
  • Rubbermaid Tub
  • Bedding
  • Garden Scraps
  • Household Food Leftovers
  • Drill

Soldier Fly
Soldier Fly | Source

Drill several small holes in the bottom of your soldier fly bin. This is keep the bin from filling up with lechate (liquid wastes). If you don't have a way to add drainage, simply tip the container periodically to remove most of the lechate.

Add a few inches of organic bedding such as shredded paper, moss or even small stones or sand.

Add food wastes to the bin. Since you are adding the soldier flies at the start, you do not have to have really stinky food. Use less stinky items until the bin is actually writhing with soldier fly larvae. Soldiers prefer moist foods so make sure you dampen dried foods for them. If the container is wet enough, they should do fine with drier fare.

Place as many black soldier fly larvae as you can afford in the container. The more soldier grubs to start out with, the less pest flies will come.

Add a dry layer of straw, grass clippings or hay to the top of the food/larvae. This will keep the smell down and give the flies a place to lay eggs. The larvae also like to rest here and will even pupate.

Drill a couple of holes in the lid to allow adult black soldier flies to enter and exit the unit.

Add a ramp to the bin so maturing larvae can escape. The ramp can be a piece of wood, plastic or even a PVC pipe aimed at about a 35 degree angle out of the bin. I use a pipe that has an elbow connector that drops the larvae into a collection bucket.

To be totally honest, there will be enough moisture on the sides of the bin that larvae can easily climb up and out of the container.

Now, place your soldier fly container on top of a bed of red wigglers. They red wigglers will adore the lechate and reproduce like MAD beneath the container! Mine travels quite a distance to set up residence beneath one of my soldier fly bins. They are fat and happy, too.

Pest Fly Trick

In the event that your tub becomes infested with carrion beetles or pest flies, do what I do. I fill the container with water for several minutes. Everything drowns except the soldier flies. I then drain the liquid out and the soldiers eat the dead pest insects.

My containers have only small holes that clog up most of the time so they hold water.


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    • IsadoraPandora profile image

      Jocelyn 4 years ago from Florida, PCB

      Not yet but I am working on it. It will be out this summer if all goes as planned.

    • profile image

      Sokota Ireland 4 years ago

      We are trying to find a way to keep our colony alive over winter indoors, this winter we were somewhat successful, lots of pupation, but no breeding or egg laying.

    • profile image

      Sokota 4 years ago

      is the ebook finished?

    • IsadoraPandora profile image

      Jocelyn 6 years ago from Florida, PCB

      No, the system I mentioned here harvests the soldier fly larvae. It is not the best system I have for harvesting though. I feed my ladies the self-harvested soldiers, not the immature larvae.

      You can feed those though. I just make sure their food is chicken-safe so as not to spread nasties to my flock. :-)

      I didn't post my best system here because it will be in my upcoming E-book. :-)

    • profile image

      Robert Olivier 6 years ago

      So your chickens are eating them straight from within the compost pile/bin?

    • IsadoraPandora profile image

      Jocelyn 6 years ago from Florida, PCB

      Had you read the entire article you would see that this is mainly to breed them and keep them alive. I stated clearly that this was not the best option for harvesting black soldier fly larvae. My entire breeding and harvesting setup will be added to my upcoming E-book. ;-)

      And adding bedding has been a wonderful addition to my setup. My testimonial is the fact that I have nearly an endless supply of the larvae and my chickens are quite happy with the results.

      Thank you for your comment. ;-)

    • profile image

      Robert Olivier 6 years ago

      I seriously doubt that you get a good harvest with that bin.

      First: Don't put in any bedding, they will pupate in your bedding and you will not be able to harvest them. The grass clipping idea on top will do the same.

      I'm not sure about your ramp. Your ramp has to be 100% snug with the container. Any small gap will derail them from harvesting. Do you have pictures of this contraption. do you have a testimonial about the amount you can harvest. If you put in 5 lbs of food scraps are you getting over 1 lbs of larvae out?