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 BSFL vs. Mites 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:08 pm
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Location: Leavenworth, WA
Post BSFL vs. Mites
I just started a bin a few weeks ago, with about 3000 larvae from Fluker's and promptly overfed them. I also accidentally introduced what appear to be grain mites. The mites are at full blown infestation, and my larvae don't seem to be eating at all. Any food I put in just gets covered with mites, so then I just toss the food to get rid of them. There is also a lot of pupation going on in the bin, and I only had self-crawl out once when the bin was quite moist. I am now collecting adult flies from inside the bin and transferring them to a temporary aviary.

So my questions are..
1. Is it possible my larvae are just ready to pupate and that's why they aren't eating? - they were all roughly the same size when I received them ~3 weeks ago. Or are they just super annoyed with the mites?
2. Aside from picking out each individual larvae and giving them a bath, is there any way to eliminate the bulk of the mites? Specifically, if I mix in some diatomaceous earth, would that harm my BSFL?


Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:37 pm
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Post Re: BSFL vs. Mites
Soddee welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

Soddee wrote:
1. Is it possible my larvae are just ready to pupate and that's why they aren't eating? - they were all roughly the same size when I received them ~3 weeks ago. Or are they just super annoyed with the mites?
The larvae will darken and eventually turn coffee colored when they're about to pupate. Is this what you're seeing?

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2. Aside from picking out each individual larvae and giving them a bath, is there any way to eliminate the bulk of the mites? Specifically, if I mix in some diatomaceous earth, would that harm my BSFL?
I've never had to deal with mites so can't comment. Hopefully someone else will jump in here with advice.

The diatomaceous earth is likely to damage the digestive tract of the BSFL.

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I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:49 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:08 pm
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Location: Leavenworth, WA
Post Re: BSFL vs. Mites
There are definitely pupae in the bin, but I'm concerned about the large but still white larvae that appear listless and clearly aren't eating. I don't know if they are suffering somehow or if they are about to shed that last shell and pupate.. I'm sure my constant checking on them doesn't help but I'm a worrier. If it helps, their substrate is fairly dry, I have been adding quite a bit of water every night but my office is insanely dry-the whole side of the state is insanely dry-and it's usually mostly gone in the AM. Also, I thought maybe it was too toasty, (I have a really small reptile heater designed for small tanks stuck to the bottom of the bucket since we only keep the office at 65,) but when I put my hand between the heated wall and them, it's quite warm but not hot. Up until about 4 days ago they were quite squirmy and happy.

I have scoured the internet looking for information on the use of diatomaceous earth with BSFL and only came across one post that mentioned someone thought it could scrape up the larvae. It would appear nobody who's tried it has posted online about the experience.


Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:14 pm
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Post Re: BSFL vs. Mites
BorealWormer wrote:
... The diatomaceous earth is likely to damage the digestive tract of the BSFL.
But then again maybe not (link)

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I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:10 pm
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Post Re: BSFL vs. Mites
Hokay, well I went ahead and sorted my bugs. Took some time, but I did it.

Any mites clinging to the pupae have either abandoned ship or have dehydrated themselves from lack of food and moisture, I now have adults hatching daily that I transfer to my "aviary"... they don't care for it much and I have yet to get them in the mood. Tomorrow my goal is to make a new one that will be hidden in my shop where it's oh so very toasty.

The larvae looked alright after a good shaking and I bought some DE to dust them real quick... but my weekend caught up with me and I ran out of time and there was travel and rear-ending and a conference.. anyhow, I didn't have time to keep a close eye on them afterwards and the mites seem to have exploded again, (must have been eggs still clinging.) I gave them one little piece of bell pepper - from what I've been reading, they like bell pepper- but the larvae haven't touched it. Think when I get back to work, (where they live) I'll rinse them, dust them and give them new coir to rest in. One last attempt...

...until spring that is...


Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:45 pm
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