How to Raise Black Soldier Fly Larva

Written by verity jones | 13/05/2017
How to Raise Black Soldier Fly Larva
Black soldier fly larvae are only a fraction of an inch long when born. (Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Black soldier larvae are identified as a small, plump, yellowish maggot. It is approximately 0.7 inches long, although it can grow up to 1 inch. Black soldier flies larvae can be used to convert organic waste into animal protein and therefore it provides a sustainable solution for composting. Once the larvae has matured in the waste, it removes itself from the food ready to pupate. The larvae are resilient and provided you keep them in the right habitat, they require little attention.

Saw off a portion of the end of the PVC pipe. The cut needs to be at a shallow angle from the end, to approximately 1 foot up the length of the pole.

Fill the 5 gal. plastic tube half full with organic waste; this could be egg shells, vegetable peelings or manure. This provides a food source, moisture and warmth for the black soldier fly larvae.

Place the PVC pipe in the bin. Rest the end you cut on top of the organic waste with the other end protruding over the edge. This is a homemade ramp for the larvae to climb up when they have reached maturity. Position the large plastic container beneath the end outside of the bucket. When the flies get to the top of the tube, they drop into this container.

Top up the bin regularly with kitchen waste. Approximately every square foot of area allows you to place about 1.36kg. of waste; if you produce more than this, use a bigger tub and longer PVC pipe. Top it up daily to maintain a fresh supply of food for the black solider fly larvae.

Leave the black soldier fly larvae to eat and manage themselves, until they crawl up the ramp. The larvae do not require any special assistance from you, because essentially they can now raise themselves. Make sure the bin is not exposed to really cold weather. Keep it warm by topping it up with more kitchen waste or putting it in a garage or shed.

Things you need

  • 5 gal. plastic bin
  • 4 foot PVC pipe, 2-inch diameter
  • Saw
  • Large bucket
  • Organic waste

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