In my previous post I described how a person can develop something like affection for a colony of black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens). If that’s the case then why do i enjoy feeding the grubs (larvae) to other animals? A big part of it is the same pleasure I mentioned that you get from feeding animals in general. There is just something satisfying about watching animals eat, especially when you provide the food. I don’t feel like I’m being hypocritical, let me explain…
Maintaining a natural balance
Black soldier flies lay from 500 – 900 eggs in the few days they live as adults. In nature the vast majority of these eggs don’t live to reproduce, if they did it would lead to an unbalanced population. Assuming that there is one female BSF for each male, then the proper balance would be maintained if two of the several hundred eggs survived to reproduce. That’s a high rate of loss, just as nature intended.
In an uncontrolled setting the BSF would be heavily preyed on by frogs, toads, birds, lizards, little furry things, etc. Protecting the grubs in a container serves us because we can employ them to process our food waste, but it does result in a much larger number of larvae surviving to the prepupal (last larval) stage. By feeding most of these larvae to pets, pond fish or wildlife we maintain a more natural balance.
Enjoy feeding local wildlife
By keeping a BSFL bio-composting unit you convert what would have been nasty landfill into a nutritious, and I assume delicious, source of food for your local wildlife. As in nature you can allow a small number of larvae to pupate, but you also have a great opportunity to enjoy feeding critters.
There is a long list of birds that love to eat BSF grubs, and there are feeders that make it relatively simple. You can search for information about feeding mealworms to wild birds and simply use black soldier fly larvae in place of the mealworms. Check the link below for more information.
Web search: “feeding birds mealworms”
As you might guess from the photos in this post I often feed the local toad population with BSF grubs. One nice thing about feeding the toads is that they’ll eat while you’re fairly close to them. I’m sure it’s serious business to the toads, but it’s still fun to watch the way they “stalk” the larvae. Keep in mind that some of the larvae I offer to the toads and other wildlife will escape and survive.
[youtube width=”400″ height=”325″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DO2zBVLoAo[/youtube]
feeding, black soldier fly, larvae, flies, toads, frogs, pet, lizard, wildlife, hermetia illucens,