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 Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:59 am
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Post Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
Good day all, I have finally managed to get flies after 50+ days, yay. However, the flies keep dying. I am spraying them with water every once in a while using a small garden sprayer I have and our temperature is around 19 to 25 because it's the rainy season. I used an old mosquito net to make the enclosure they're in, could it be that? I have used the net for over 6 months so it's pretty old. The enclosure is all very DIY and is under the shade but I move it to the sun during the day for full sunlight so that they mate, which they havent so far. What could be wrong? See the picture below, that is where they are at right now.
Image


Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
sam87 wrote:
Good day all, I have finally managed to get flies after 50+ days, yay. However, the flies keep dying. I am spraying them with water every once in a while using a small garden sprayer I have
How often? Low humidity can kill them but I believe your winter is a rainy (high humidity) season. Also the flies only exist to mate and lay eggs then they naturally die.

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... and our temperature is around 19 to 25 because it's the rainy season.
That's a bit on the low side but should be OK. Do you have a min/max thermometer you could place in your enclosure to record the extremes in temperature?

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I used an old mosquito net to make the enclosure they're in, could it be that? I have used the net for over 6 months so it's pretty old.
I've no experience with these. Are they impregnated with insecticide?

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The enclosure is all very DIY and is under the shade but I move it to the sun during the day for full sunlight so that they mate, which they havent so far. What could be wrong?
If it took 50+ days for the flies to appear that suggests a slow growth cycle which might be due to low temperatures.

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


Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
I'll have to get a thermometer and check, I will let you know. As for the spraying, I spray them every half hour to an hour. The mosquito nets do come impregnated with insecticide but I thought by now it should have worn off because i used to get mosquitoes all the time in and around it and they never seemed to die. Today at 8 there were 10 flies but now, its 19:30 and all of them are dead. They seem to have broken legs and are mostly upside down on their wings. I had put them in a mixture of compost and coco peat. Could it be that the layer is too thick and maybe causing them to have deformities? Oh man, my poor flies :(


Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
Humidity is also important.
The humidity you see on weather reports is meaningless, so get a hygrometer (pet shop) and check the humidity inside your enclosure. You want to keep your RH around 60-80%


Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
oh man, by the time I get one,they'll all be dead if that's the issue. All the pet shops are out of stock. Our air here is pretty dry. I changed the net and got one that isn't insecticide treated. Still, all the flies that emerged today at 10 are all dead. It's 15:51. What a damn shame :(


Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:51 am
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
Hygrometer or not, just keep it humid. I used to hand-spray mine about 4-5 times a day.


Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:22 am
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
PeteB wrote:
Hygrometer or not, just keep it humid. I used to hand-spray mine about 4-5 times a day.

Okay, I should have some larva that will eclose tomorrow. Will see how it goes. As of now, I only have one fly alive and it's pretty huge.


Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
Here is another update, all these flies eclosed yesterday and are now dead. I added a plastic around the enclosure so that I can maintain the humidity but kept a space for ventilation. I don't understand. I sprayed almost every hour and it was never dry, but still, they all just died. My substrate is a mixture of worm castings and coco peat. I have other larvae that are growing fast and I am scared if I dont figure out why, the next batch will die as well and winter is coming soon. I'll have to wait til next year Oct to get another colony running :(
Dead Flies Image
Enclosure Image
Substrate Image

I have no more flies left, they're all dead. I'll have to wait another month or so. Should I build a little greenhouse so that I can maintain temp and humidity? What sucks is the lack of literature, it's so hard to figure out what's wrong!


Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:56 am
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
Another update, turns out, they're not dead just sort of incapacitated. When i shake them, they seem to wake up and try to move but their legs are deformed and so they can't climb up the net. If you notice, I have no plants in that enclosure, could it be that the flies had nowhere to rest and the net disfigured their legs?
Look at the image, notice that the longest legs are sort of deformed and the fly had trouble orienting itself.
Image


Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:12 am
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
PeteB wrote:
Hygrometer or not, just keep it humid. I used to hand-spray mine about 4-5 times a day.

So, turns out it was the humidity. I built a little greenhouse and put the enclosure in there and they stopped "dying". Now, to get them to mate but with this weather, I do not know how I will and our shops don't have all the fancy lights a lot of people post about on this forum. We just have regular cfl lights


Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:14 pm
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
sam87 wrote:
... We just have regular cfl lights
CFL lights work for me. Here's a short summary of lighting used by people who have been successful with indoor breeding of BSF (link)

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Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:48 am
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Post Re: Black Soldier Flies dying in less than 24 hours
BorealWormer wrote:
sam87 wrote:
... We just have regular cfl lights
CFL lights work for me. Here's a short summary of lighting used by people who have been successful with indoor breeding of BSF (link)

Thanks, I have looked at it, I'll go see if I can find any lights like that tomorrow. However, what I have is a Philips 23 W 1380 lumen 6500K cool daylight cfl and I also have a 500 Watt Philips halogen lamp, the flood light. I'm planning on making my green house darker so that either of those lights is the only light source, we have really bad sunlight right now.


Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:03 pm
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