I’ve updated this post because our forum is up and running now. With a huge amount of help from Mike, A.K.A. BorealWormer, we are now registering members. Mike also did most of the work on our BSF Locator map. Links are in the upper right column of our home page, or you can click FORUM or LOCATOR MAP. Please feel free to give us feedback about the forum.

Update: Since we now have a discussion forum we will be disabling comments here on the blog. Anyone can read the forum, but to join in on the conversation you will need to register. This is an easy and painless process, and it’s necessary to keep spammers from, well, spamming up the place. :)

The forum can be accessed here (forum) and you will see a link for registration in the upper left corner of the forum. The legal language on the registration form is very basic and is what came with the forum software. In short, we won’t share your information, and please don’t be vulgar or break the law. 😉

48 thoughts on “new black soldier fly forum

  • January 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    phpBB (link) is another forum software I see used on a lot of sites. I can’t comment if it’s any easier to administrate but I think the user interface is on par with Simple Machines.

    I’d welcome the addition of the forums as a I prefer the forum format better than blogs.

    • January 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      I’m counting on your contributions.

      Mike, I’m looking forward to your posts, especially about worms which I know almost nothing about at this point.

  • January 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I cannot help you with the web stuff–but I would love to join and contribute what I can to the forum. :)

  • January 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Yes! I, too, prefer the forum format (and grinned at your graphic above).

    Jay, the recording is way cool! Sounds just like the oak worms noshing on the leaves of Black Oak, far overhead here in the spring.

    Sierra Nevada Foothills

  • January 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    The forum idea is great! Choose a platform and go with it! You don’t necessarily have to integrate it with your blog. A simple link would suffice.

    And Jay, you definitely nailed the sound of a BSF colony! It reminds me of the “snap, crackle and pop” of Rice Crispies!

  • January 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    phpbb forums are for all pratical purposes idiot proof. easy to admin and no shortage of free themes out there

  • January 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks guys! I am using a Kodak z710 digital camera for the videos and photos. Inexpensive and works great!

  • January 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Come join us on ning! You may already know about the vermicomposters site on the ning network. We have a very active forum for the worms and we have a discussion group dedicated to BSFL. I know you would be welcomed with open arms. Brian Travis has already joined us there.

  • April 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I am working with a team at UC Berkeley on converting latrine sludge in Tanzania into biodiesel or animal feed using BSF. Is there anyone in the Bay Area working on BSF projects that wouldn’t mind us stopping by to take a look at your setup? We are researching whether its commercially viable, but would be nice to see what folks are doing on a smaller scale. Thanks!

    • April 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Marissa,

      You might get a better response by posting a thread on our forum. Our hope is to attract members of scientific community and your presence would be appreciated. You can also submit a BSF sighting with a link of your choice for our BSF Locator map.

  • April 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Marissa, the animal feed thing will definitely work.

    I’m no scientist, (well, maybe a mad scientist!), but a year or so ago I tried rendering fat or oil from several pounds of BSF (probably 7,000 to 8,000 of them). I mashed them up in a large pot with a potato masher, boiled the living snot out of them, and left them in a fridge to see if oil congealed on the surface. It didn’t. All I succeeded in doing was stinking up the kitchen and totally pissing off my wife. Perhaps a more carefully formulated, well thought out experiment would work. I hope so. If you could separate the oil from the grubs, the residue might still make a decent feed. Good luck with your experiments and keep us posted! Like Jerry said, the forum is an excellent place to exchange techniques and ideas!

  • May 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I am raising BSFL in Thailand. They have a type of catfish here that is a mix between the clarias gariepinus and the clarias gariepinus. It only eats meat. I can’t feed it veggies of any kind. They are little dudes at the moment and I can only get them to eat the BSFL when I cut the grubs (for smell?). Does anybody else have catfish? How do they feed BSFL to smaller fish? Put BSFL in the Blender? (wife will love that). I am afraid that it will be to mashed up and I will end up putting too much uneaten garbage in my cement pond. By the way, these fish will eat fly larvae of any type without modification.

  • May 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I dont think bsf is a good idea to biodegrade kitchen waste in city houses. Where on earth do we dispose of the worms every 10 days. yuk. earthworms would be better. Are there any cheap biodigesters that we could make so that every house could afford one. We are rather a poor country and spending $50 on one is
    not workable.

    • May 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Hi meena,

      There is no need to “dispose” of the BSF larvae but they are an excellent feed for chickens, pigs, fish and many other animals. If you don’t have animals then you can simply release the mature larvae in your yard, or hold them in containers while they pupate and then let the winged adults fly away to mate and complete the cycle. BSF do not bother people and neighbors would not even know that they were being raised nearby. I have released hundreds of thousands of BSF on my property and it is still rare to see the adults flies.

      It’s not necessary to spend $50 or any money at all to make a BSF composter. If you are creative and able to work with your hands you should be able to salvage materials and make one for a few dollars or maybe even at no cost.

      Earthworms are a great resource and depending on your goals they may be better for you than BSF larvae. For example, worms are best for producing a soil amendment because BSF larvae reduce the volume of waste to almost nothing. On the other hand BSF larvae can convert much more waste and a wider variety of waste than worms. They can also tolerate heat much better. If you don’t want to use BSF larvae because they are “yuk” then what is your purpose in posting a comment on this blog which dedicated to BSF? Before you judge whether or not they are suitable for use in the city it would be a good idea to understand more about the species I would think.

  • June 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    LOL…I think both have their purpose, I want to raise BSFL for my fish and chickens to supplement the Azola and duckweed.Just finished a 55 gal composter and I’m trying to attract the flies but I’m getting tons of ants and I wonder if the ants will eat the larvae?

  • June 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Just thinking here,…if I want to raise BSF larvae for food for my chickens and possibly aquaponics fish, what do you think of: several Biopods in the chicken feeding area with the migration ramps dropping them into a long trough for the chickens to directly eat from. Same thing over the water for the fish. And a sceened tent with some adults to produce a bunch of eggs for the pod? Have some corrugated cardboard set in areas for egg collection, and harvest every 2-3 days, putting them into the pods again with new scraps. Thoughts?????

  • July 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I have 2, 60 gallon green refuse plastic trash cans that I was using for composting my yard clippings. I acquired the BSF larva at some point and now the bins are full of them.(major understatement). You can actually hear them making noise and it is a wild feeding orgy right on top of the pile. The problem is I put too much water in them (probably why the BSF are being so prolific). and I don’t really know what to do with them. Last thing I need is more flys buzzing around. Especially these ugly monsters. I drained off a few gallons of the liquid and put it in my Hydroponics system after aerating it for 24 hours (should have gone 3 days). My system was already maxed out at about 1250 ppm and there must have been a lot of unconverted nitrate in the liquid because it burned the heck out of my plants. (I added way too much, should have deluded it) I had to drain 50% of the hydroponic system nutrient and put in plain water. Took a week for the plants to start coming back and the roots are just not the same. Lost 2 Swiss Chard and a Tomatoe. The roots were white now they are brown. Should I cut the brown roots off?

    Do I just leave them (BSFL) alone and keep putting clippings in and drain off the liquid? Or do I have to empty it out at some point? I don’t have any fish or animals to feed them too at this point and quite frankly don’t know how to separate them from the compost muck. I might be able to sell them if I could figure that out? Any suggestions? I have this dream like little house of horrors, trying to empty the bins and all the larve turn to adults at once…they find my decomposed body in the back yard the next day…. uuug.

  • July 27, 2011 at 10:20 am


    If you allow the bins to dry out the soldier flies will begin to abate. Stop adding moist and smelly waste too. You can also tip the cans at an angle and they will eventually crawl out. You won’t be swarmed with soldier flies once they pupate. They fly away and disperse.

    It would be worth collecting the larvae to feed your fish and other animals. You can sell them on Ebay too.

    I always trim dead roots off of my plants. Just make sure they’re actually dead first.

  • August 10, 2011 at 10:05 am

    These seem to be a warm environment fly. Is there any info on maintaining them in a cold weather environment? As males seem to be more rare how many larvae would have to be allowed to mature so that an appropriate male/female balance could be kept. I’m envisioning something like the bucket with a screen funnel over the vents to collect adults and going to a breeding chamber ensconced in a heated garage. Thoughts please.

  • August 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Not sure about the optimum male/female ratio but for a couple of examples of raising them inside in colder regions see this post.

  • August 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

    They will breed in a greenhouse environment Max. I would allow a lot to mature to get a diversity of flies. Just my opinion though!

  • September 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I am new to composting (4 weeks!) We made a homemade tumble composter out of a food-grade 55 gallon drum that we mounted on a stainless steel pole outside in the hot central FL sun.

    This morning after turning and looking at the mixture, I realized there are some kind of grubs crawling around in there, and after capturing one and comparing it with photos on the internet, I believe they are black soldier fly larvae. From your blog I guess these are beneficial, and I should NOT race out to Home Depot and grab some insecticide. (Can a photo be uploaded here? Would love to have positive ID.)

    Anyway, my question is this: when my compost is done, I plan to spread it on my vegetable garden. Is that a problem with these larvae in the mixture? Thank you for any advice.

  • September 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm


    My name is Ed, and I have tried to register for your forum answering the question, “What does the “F” stand for in BSFL”. Knowing it stands for fly, I have tried the following; fly, Fly, flies, Flies, and yet the forum registration has be unfruitful. Please advise. FYI, my nick is “Murse” (Male nurse).

    Thanks in advance. I sincerely hope to join the forum soon. I have set up my buckets and we are just waiting for the payoff here in Central Florida.

    Any assistance you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated with regard to the forum.

    Thanks again,

  • October 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Ed the forum software requires that your answer be in capital letters only.

  • December 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Hi, my name is Steve and I stumbled upon BSF in my research/preparation for putting a dozen laying hens, this spring, on my lil mini farm here in western SC. If I recall the link was titled something like “free chicken feed” and that really caught my attention. Today I built 2 of the 5 gallon BSF “breeders” but I have a question/concern. Can someone comment on sustainability of the flies – in other words, if I am successful in attracting BSF and produce larvae and collect all the grubs and feed em to my chickens then where does the next generation of mature flies come from? In my research, albeit limited, I can not find anything on the life cycle of the BSF. How long from egg to mature adult and how many cycles are there in a year? And at what temperatures are they suppressed? I see that there is not a registered sighting of BSF on the SC map. Last year I suspected that someone had put meat byproducts in my composter – when I went to put some kitchen waste in there was a thick slime on the surface and it was alive with maggots. Now in retrospect it seems that the little critters were a bit bigger than house fly maggots and suspect they were BSF larvae. Will let ya know this spring.

  • January 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Good morning;
    I became interested in BSF as an organic source of food for fish and or shrimp to be used in aquaponics systems. I am at the beginning of the research and have started with the bucket explained on this site. Now, it’s full of minute fruit flies. I just purchased some Phoenix worms (BSF worms). Should I just set them in the bucket hoping/awaiting they become flies lay eggs and take over the small ones?

  • February 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hi there,
    I am wondering what happens with the food scrap material that is placed in a BSF bin system after it has been decomposed by the larvae… Mine just seems to build layers and layers and layers… I have an idea of transferring it into a standard worm bin system. Kind of like having the BSF larvae predigest the food scraps quickly so that the worms are able to eat quicker and break down the waste left over from the BSF larvae… Let me know if anyone has any ideas or input on how to go about making a BSF larvae system that is easy to remove the decomposed material or if anyone has any experience with it. I have had a system at my house for a while now, I am still learning of course, and am dealing with some issues of bad drainage and excess moisture. Also curious about simple and successful drainage designs. I have been using a standard cylindrical plastic trash bin which works great! But need to retrofit for better drainage and access to the decomposed material, similar to how one might extract worm castings. I’m thinking that a more horizontal system would be easier for the extraction of predigested material to be transferred to a worm system. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say.
    Pat :)

  • February 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Pat. I think most people are emptying their bins on an annual basis usually in the fall after the ‘BSF” season is over. I’ve wondering if something like a ‘flo-thru’ worm bin would work where the material decomposed by the larvae could be removed from the bottom of the bin. Another thing to consider is how worried to be about live BSFL being transferred into to your wormbin along with the decomposed material.

    We would love to see a description/photos of your system over on the forums

  • July 23, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I only wish I had stumbled upon your website one week ago. We were sitting on the back deck and someone noticed that there was something moving in the bird feeder. One of the compartments was full of these huge maggot looking things. I had no idea what they were. I emptied out the feeder onto a sheet of newspaper and there were hundreds of these huge steroid eating maggots with pointy snouts.
    Then as any dumber than a bag of hair person would do I put them in the sun to die so I could dispose of them. To add insult to injury for years I’ve been killing these black wasp looking things I’d find flying around. Little did I know they were BSFs.
    I’m going to be building a BSF composter this week. I do Bokashi composting and the BSFs will love it.

    • July 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

      That’s cool Bobby. You might want to consider joining our forum so you can share and get some guidance.

  • September 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Hi, I have a question. I can get free buckets from work, they are 14″ diameter and about 26″ deep. Is the surface area a factor when keeping BSFL? I’m def. gonna build the DIY model as you suggest. My only concern at this point was if my bucket would be too deep. In my head I imagine thousands of these guys wiggling all over each other stacked a foot deep or something crazy like that. Can there be too many and is that even a realistic concern? I am excited about this cause I just started gardening and was suprised to find I am really enjoying it. Consequently, August 1st I started a worm bin, and I would LOVE to add the BSF compost to the worms, as I read that it will speed up the process and of course make the compost more nutritious. Thanks for the help!!

  • September 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Does anyone have a good tip for freezing the BSF. I don’t want a big solid chunk of BSFcicle. I thought of putting them on a baking sheet and then into the deep freeze but I don’t want them crawling out while they’re freezing. You can’t believe the wrath I would face if these things went crawling into the freezer and then froze to death.

  • September 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Bobby how about first putting them in a bag in the freezer but only until they stop moving and then spreading them on a cookie sheet?

  • September 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the tip. It doesn’t take long for them to stop moving?

  • September 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I’m not sure as I’ve never frozen any. Let us know what you find ouut.

  • September 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Just thought I’d post back, a year later from above comment. The answer to my question is that the soldier fly larvae all hatch and the flies are gone by the time the compost is done (no food left for larvae). Love the soldier flies. I’ve gotten to the point that I try to preserve the larvae and move them to a new compost pile before the old pile is finished and ready for spreading.

  • October 9, 2012 at 5:52 am

    You should place the last comments on the top, instead of the bottom. (Reverse the order)

  • October 9, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I just realized I hadn’t posted an update about the freezing of the larvae. I should have made sure they were completely dry before putting them on the baking sheet and then into the freezer. I had to use a spatula to scrape them off into a freezer bag. They stuck pretty well !
    Thank God nobody in the house knew I was using stuff out of the kitchen or using the deep freezer in the garage.

  • November 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’m in N.L. Mexico, I noticed there are many sightings in Texas and in S. Amer. but nothin for here. If I can’t find them in the wild, is it possible to buy them, and import them across the border? I worked with them in the mountains above Roseburg, Oregon, raisin them to feed fish in agua-phonic set up. My intrest is, as chicken food. Besides ‘grit’, what else would chickens need for a balanced diet?? Half the operation in for egg production, half for the meat.

    • November 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Don,

      I’m certain there are BSF in that area. There is plenty of heat and humidity, the two most important factors for BSF presence. I can’t answer your question about moving them across the border. I believe BSF are excellent chicken feed but don’t know the exact science involved in chicken diets.

  • December 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    thanks for the encouragement, I set up some traps but nothing showed up. Could be that it was already too cold.(?) Also I’m at 6000 ft. (?) Still looking for info on what else one might need to feed a chicken for a balanced diet. Also, has anyone tried the milkshakes?? One site said they are very tasty that way, and when I saw someone wanting to freeze them, it reminded me….! No, it’s very dry here in La Trinidad, could that be the problem? I love this site, thank you all.

    • December 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Don,

      I’m sorry to say that I’ve read that BSF are relatively rare about 5000 feet. Also a dry climate is not optimal. I wish I could be more encouraging.

  • December 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Our composting toilet was taken over by BSF after 2 months in action. We are at 2000 feet in the California Sierra foothills. The toilet is a steel drum which is filled 1/3 with charcoal and shredded redwood. In 4 months the volume of compost has stayed steady since the larvae moved in. I was expecting it to last 9 months, but so far the drum has held steady at 1/3 full. Houseflies weren’t able to compete and each turd seems to disappear within hours. I saw adult black soldiers flies stay on the inside of the drum for days before flying away. We’re gone mostly during the winter so we’ll see how the colony endures.

  • December 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Nate

    We’ve set up a BSF Locator map (link) displaying the locations of confirmed BSF sightings/wild populations. If you’d like to contribute there’s a ‘Report BSF sighting’ link in the upper left corner of the map or you can use this link. Only locations which are submitted with adequate documentation will be used.

    Mike aka BW

  • February 8, 2013 at 3:07 am

    My name is Walter. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I keep several worm bins & thought I would try out BSF. I purchased the BioPod & it works great – too great perhaps. In no time, I had a huge colony of BSF. (Using soggy bread as BSF bait seemed to do the trick.) But my experience has not matched those of others in this blog: (1) My BioPod does smell pretty bad. It’s the effluent liquid that comes out of the BioPod that smells so much. I believe that it may contain ammonia or acetic acid (vinegar) from the larva or from some bacteria that colonized my BioPod alongside the BSF. (2) I do get houseflies in my BioPod. On a warm day, clouds of them would emerge when I opened the lid. Houseflies particularly like the effluent & gather around the tap. The only way I control the houseflies is to keep the bin in the shade & drain the effluent regularly. (3) BSF larva do not seem to play well with compost worms. After setting up my BioPod, I had BSF everywhere & they quickly overran my worm bins. I believe it is the effluent secreted by the BSF – that perhaps it is too acidic for my compost worms. Early on, I poured about 1 pint of the effluent from my BioPod into one of my worm bins, thinking it would add to the worm tea I collect. Worms abruptly surfaced from their castings & writhed about. Then they died. I had a pretty big die-off in that bin the following day. Overall, since starting the BioPod, my worm population has fallen off & my bins have become choc-full of BSF.

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Walter,

    Congratulations about the BSF and sorry about your worms. We can probably help you out with some of issues you’re dealing with, and the best way for that discussion to happen is for you to join our forum. The bad odors and houseflies you mention are signs that your BioPod is out of balance and there are fixes. Luckily BorealWormer who helps run this site and the forum is very knowledgeable about worms as well as BSF. Joining the forum is fairly painless and I hope to see you there.

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