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 Noob questions - getting started 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:50 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Charleston, SC
Post Noob questions - getting started
I have several questions about getting started.

I built a plywood harvesting box, a cardboard egg trap, and added a layer of pine shavings from the chicken bedding and my attractant food scraps. (vegetables, rice, hamburger, etc.) I waited 10 days and only had fruit fly activity and a lot of small larva (I don't know what kind). I did not see any evidence of BSF so I ordered 3000 larva from Fluker's. The day they arrived I saw several ABFL in my box. I added the purchased larva and I am now waiting.

My questions.
Will the fruit flies eventually go away?
I have not seen any eggs on the egg trap? I just used cardboard from a shipping box. Could the holes be too large? How do I get them to lay eggs on the cardboard?
When the larva crawl out, can I just put some in a near by flower bed to pupate and mate? Should I build an aviary? Can I just screen in a small area of shrubbery and use the ground, or do I need to have a box?

I am in Charleston SC, I have a long time until winter and even then our low temps are in the high 30's for the most part.

I want this to be self sustaining, any suggests are appreciated.
Stephen


Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:17 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Noob questions - getting started
StephenBrinson wrote:
...Will the fruit flies eventually go away?

They should once there's a bigger population of BSF larvae.

Quote:
I have not seen any eggs on the egg trap? I just used cardboard from a shipping box. Could the holes be too large? How do I get them to lay eggs on the cardboard?

BSF egg traps made easy (link)

Quote:
When the larva crawl out, can I just put some in a near by flower bed to pupate and mate? Should I build an aviary? Can I just screen in a small area of shrubbery and use the ground, or do I need to have a box?
It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Do you want to fed the larvae to something or just compost material? Larvae released in your yard will instinctively seek a dark moist spot to pupate and should help boost your local wild population.

Quote:
I am in Charleston SC, I have a long time until winter and even then our low temps are in the high 30's for the most part.

I want this to be self sustaining, any suggests are appreciated.
Stephen
The adult flies are seasonal while the larvae are thought to overwinter buy getting below the frost line. A year round operation would likely require indoor rearing although the following might be interesting to you:

An active bin can generate a lot of heat and there has been some experimenting with keeping colonies active outside during the winter with insulated bins. This site reported "The difference in temperature between inside and outside the unit can exceed at times 82F or 45 C." In the link below look under What Happens in Winter for a graph and some info.
http://www.esrint.com/pages/bioconversion.html


Also Best way to hold larvae over the winter? (link)

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


Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:43 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:50 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Charleston, SC
Post Re: Noob questions - getting started
I am planning to feed the larva to chickens and compost material. So I am wanting to have a population that I can maintain. Today I noticed some eggs laid inside the screws I used to build the box. That is promising.


Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:27 am
Posts: 6
Location: beverly hills , florida 352 423 3666
Post Re: Noob questions - getting started
I feel your pain man ----I just wish I could look out there and all the plstic cardboard I used to catch eggs be filled repeatedly :)
ive got close to 150-200 adults in my 4ft cubed screen enclosure I bult & haven't seen an egg yet --I catch a few dozen flies daily in ym garage & blow them into the crawlout pipes I installed through the screening & still haven't seen an egg cluster yet

it is driving me insane

not to mention im always worried if its too dry in the food bin or too wet or too moldly or what I shouldn't put into their bin or too little light or too much light or ????? god only knows what im doing wrong


Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:16 pm
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