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 Raising house flies instead of BSF's 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 3
Post Raising house flies instead of BSF's
I seeded a Biopod Plus with BSF larvae about a month ago. I am harvesting BSF ( a few a day, 30+ being the max ) but the majority of larvae are average house flies. When I open the access lid to put new scraps in there, I am greeted by something approaching a horror film level of house flies. I thought the BSF larvae secreted a chemical that would keep this from happening?
The scraps include fish, cooked chicken scraps, plant cuttings, corn cobbs, meat, vegi scraps.

Am I being impatient? Is there something I can do? Re-Seed maybe?

Thanks in advance.

Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:51 pm

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
P.S. It's starting to smell like murder.

Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:24 am

Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:40 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
Since no-one more experienced has yet answered, i will give you my uneducated opinion based on what i've read.

Check the drainage, there should be no water pockets that could cause an anaerobic condition to emerge. You could try to fluff up the compost.

Be sure not to put too much food for the BSF in there, this seems to be a common beginners mistake.

I guess it could also be possible that the houseflies have established a strong enough colony so that they are the ones overwhelming the BSF and not the other way round.

Do you live in an area where BFL is encountered naturally? One way or another you need to get fresh eggs laid so the population can rise.

Finally, you could try to decrease the amount of fast carbohydrates you put in there. Fast carbohydrates (corn for instance) are an excellent food source for unwanted bacteria.

Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:37 am

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:54 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
I don't know either, and have the same problem. But I suspect VKNN is correct. Mine was very wet, with no drain. Today, I took another bucket and put a drain in it, put 8" of unfinished leaf compost in it (black and sort of soil-ish but still with defined leaf bits), and soured grain and chicken poo on top, about 1 1/2". Then I flushed soured grain water through it. Last, I went through the first bucket and took out all the BSF larvae I could find (which wasn't many really) and put them in there.

We'll see if that works.

Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:39 pm

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:19 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
My guess is that you did the same thing I did. Be impatient. You should clean the pod out and throw it all away. Your pod has gone anaerobic. Hence the bad stench. BSF like aerobic decomposition which does have a smell but it doesn't smell like murder or that the sewer line has burst.

In order for a pod to handle things like meat, fish and poultry scraps you need a good colony built up first. If you don't then you're going to get houseflies and blowflies in the pod and if it's too wet and doesn't get enough air that's all you'll get.

Start with seeding the unit with soured corn. Read the blog post on it. Build up the colony first then you can start feeding them the scraps. Leave the fibrous leaf cuttings and corn cobs for the compost bin or worm bin if you have one. They won't eat that.

To make the soured corn buy some cracked corn from a local feed store. A 25lb bag will fill a 5 gallon bucket to the top. Add water and wait till the fermentation begins. Use your nose, you can't miss it, but it sure is better than rotting meat. It took a couple of days for mine. The warmer the weather the faster it will ferment. You'll probably get quite a bit of BSF visiting the bucket to lay.

Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:09 pm
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:42 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Leavenworth, KS
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
It is absolutely the amount of animal protein you are putting in. House flies and blow flies love meat and effluent is what is causing the smell. I have dealt with all of the flies. When putting out fruits and veggies I see many more BSF and when meat is the main food item house flies and blow flies show up pretty quick. My fish go crazy for regular maggots, but they are just too nasty to deal with. Plus you can smell them from up to 1/2 a block away, while you have to be pretty close to the BSFL bins to notice a smell. As mentioned if you don't have good drainage you will have anarobic bacteria below the top few inches. They produce several gases (the rotten egg smell) If you use a shovel and turn the compost over once or twice a week it will greatly reduce this.

What would the world be like if we were all as efficient as black soldier flies?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:48 pm
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:36 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
Hi guys, I've got the same problem here. The difference is that I never put any meat in there, all I put was bread, cooked pasta and some vegs. Those house flies are everywhere. I have good drainage and it never smells. Can you guys tell me what I have done wrong that BSFL aren't growing in there?

p.s. I have natural BSF here and it's autumn turning to winter now, I do keep the pod warm by fermenting food


Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:10 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:26 am
Posts: 227
Location: Durban, South Africa
Post Re: Raising house flies instead of BSF's
I'm of the opinion that one should adjust the size of your pod to the amount of grubs you have. For example, a few hundred grubs will get lost in a 12 gallon tote. Rather keep them in a 2 liter ice cream tub. That way, they will eat all the food before the houseflies get a chance to lay eggs. The best way to heat a bin is to have 4000-5000 grubs. Their body-friction will raise the temps by 5-6 degrees.

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:46 am
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