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 BSF egg traps made easy 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:26 am
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Location: southwest Florida
Post BSF egg traps made easy
For several years, I used "B flute" corrugated cardboard cut to size in strips with a paper cutter, and laboriously glued up with Elmer's Glue into egg trap sections which I tacked up around the inside circumference of my bins for the purpose of trapping BSF eggs. Daily, I would cut free any sections containing eggs and re-use the remaining (albeit shorter) glued up trap sections until they were no longer usable. The cardboard would eventually get soggy from moisture, crudded up with goo from the bin that migrating larvae would carry into it, and it was a constant, labor intensive effort to keep a supply of egg traps on hand and scrounge enough cardboard boxes of the appropriate flute size to use for building new traps.

Through trial and error, I eventually came up with an alternative that is much less labor intensive and yields traps that can be modularly harvested and immediately recycled into trapping new BSF eggs. I purchased sheets of 2mm flute sized corrugated plastic online that measure 24" in the direction of corrugation and 18" in width. Each sheet is cut in half length and width wise with a razor knife yielding four sheets 12" (corrugation length) by 9" (cross corrugation). Using a paper cutter, I slice these sheets into 12 strips one inch wide with the corrugation running in the 1" direction. Using rubber bands, I bind opposing ends of six strips together and stick a 1" strip of fuzzy side Velcro in the middle. (The rough side Velcro I use to line the inner circumference of my bins and secure the traps to the inside rim.) This gives me a trap 9" long, 1" wide and about 1/2" thick. Here's a pic of an assembled trap and it's components. (Hint: black or dark blue corrugated plastic makes the cream colored egg clusters easier to spot!)

Image

Harvesting is simple: Pull off the rubber bands and set aside any strips containing egg clusters. Rebuild traps with leftover strips that didn't hold eggs. After eggs have hatched out from strips containing them, the strips can be recycled into new traps. Any trap sections that get crudded up with the nasty gradoo from the stuff in the bin can be sprayed with a garden hose pressure nozzle or soaked clean and re-used. if the section with the fuzzy Velcro has egg clusters, it's best to remove and discard the Velcro as the baby larvae get trapped in the fibers.

Using these traps is a godsend for those wishing to separately incubate eggs to expand their "BSF buggary." If you just want the eggs to hatch naturally, leave them in place inside your bin. They will last forever and you will not spend countless hours rebuilding new traps. Easy to rinse and clean them when necessary too!

Hope somebody finds this idea useful! :)


Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:25 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Excellent Brian. Thank you.

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Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:03 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Hey Tarvus,

I found your post interesting too. What do you do with your larvae? You say that you've been raising them for years?


Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:02 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
horizonis wrote:
Hey Tarvus,

I found your post interesting too. What do you do with your larvae? You say that you've been raising them for years?


Hi horizonus,
I collect the BSF eggs and sell them to a commercial enterprise. I feed a percentage of the larvae to the tilapia in my aquaponics system. The remainder of the larvae are collected as they crawl off and allowed to pupate and hatch into adults to keep the cycle going. I used to sell larvae but found it impractical to ship them.


Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:14 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
And what do you put in your BSFL collection bins to keep the grubs from crawling out.


Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:39 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
horizonis wrote:
And what do you put in your BSFL collection bins to keep the grubs from crawling out.


Just feed. They pretty much stay put until they hit the ramps at pupation time. Never an issue in my wooden bins, but I do keep the lids shimmed up on the plastic ones since condensation on the walls seems to enable migration.


Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:49 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Thanks for this beautiful eggs trap idea. I'm going to try it right away.


Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:40 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
This is really wonderfull idea.


Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:04 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Hey Brian, do you think that 3mm would work as well? I'm considering switching to corrugated plastic for my composters. ;)

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Thu May 01, 2014 1:49 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Thanks for the email Brian, I'm getting the 2mm...

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Tue May 06, 2014 8:49 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Brian, I hate to even mention here, as you have made a truly awesome egg trap. I have made one way too simply that has been quite effective for the laying of eggs, but not so much for harvesting them.
I just made some cuts with a saw down the lenght of a fence board.
Attachment:
sawed eggs.JPG
sawed eggs.JPG [ 31.23 KiB | Viewed 7956 times ]

I can see your traps being an excellent way to harvest eggs, but if I'm just interested in letting them hatch and drop into my bin this seems to work pretty good for me. And if needed I can just scrape out the slots once they get too filled up.


Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:19 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
From this post (link)
tarajeanne wrote:
... Best trap I found was using a rubber glove, covered in they're own frass, hanging over the side of the pail.

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Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:53 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
I found a cheap source of corrugated plastic; those "vote for" signs; just don't remove them until after the election.


Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:12 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
doc owen welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

Remember that the 2mm flute size works best.

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Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:46 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
doc owen wrote:
I found a cheap source of corrugated plastic; those "vote for" signs; just don't remove them until after the election.


Doc I used plastic cut from those political signs before. Holes were too big I got zero eggs deposit until I switched to something with smaller holes.


Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:03 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
I bought a "For Sale By Owner" corrugated plastic sign for my egg trap - sounds like the flutes are probably way too big. I was guessing the females might stick their entire abdomen down inside and let 'em rip...

Where can I buy 1 or 2 18x24 sheets of the 2mm stuff without paying exorbitant shipping fees?


Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:57 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Don't bother buying something - there are resources all around us. you must THINK like a BSF :lol:
Use a plastic coated cardboard box, I used a colgate toothpaste box, and make a spring out of it. they will lay in between the layers.



Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:13 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
thanx for these ideas. :)

I have read several places that the opening size should be 2mm... these were all where someone mentioned it or commented on someone having a problem.

I was just wondering
is there any literature/research indicating a minimum size?

the holes should be less than 3mm how about 2.5mm? or 1.5mm?

another thought... in the picture where the piece of wood is slotted with a saw... how wide was the sawblade?

is there any research indicating the minimum or maximum depth of the holes? a related question ... how far down a hole can the fly lay her eggs?

From what I gather ... in nature the flies lay the eggs in cavities including the cracks in or behind bark. in one of the chats here I read that the eggs were deposited in used coffee grounds... would the colour of the "egg trap" help with attracting a fly to lay her eggs in a spot?

I realise that a female will lay her eggs anywhere that is more or less suitable if the ideal place could not be found.
I also realize that proxinity to a suitable foodsource (scent/odours) might be more important than egg trap design.


Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:37 pm
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Under the right conditions they will even lay out in the open, but when they do it's in a 3D shape. basically the biggest non-predator threat to insect eggs is dessication, as they lose a little water each time they intake oxygen. If you have a high relative humidity you will increase the survival rate of the egg. The insects instinctively know this, and therefore they search for a space where they can get maximum humidity. I would say that the flutes in carboard are the gold standard at the moment. I wouldn't try and go larger than that.


Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:53 am
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Post Re: BSF egg traps made easy
Aussiemoo wrote:
Under the right conditions they will even lay out in the open, but when they do it's in a 3D shape. basically the biggest non-predator threat to insect eggs is dessication, as they lose a little water each time they intake oxygen. If you have a high relative humidity you will increase the survival rate of the egg. The insects instinctively know this, and therefore they search for a space where they can get maximum humidity. I would say that the flutes in carboard are the gold standard at the moment. I wouldn't try and go larger than that.


You are right, this a method for harvesting wild eggs, yes those flies are wilds. Also I designed some egg traps for 3D printers, the volume of each cell is known, so the accounting of number of eggs is quite accurate.



Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:21 am
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