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 Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin 
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:05 pm
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Post Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
I'd like to ask if there's anything I should or even can do about controlling the green bottle flies. I've learned to distinguish between their eggs and BSFL eggs, so I get rid of their eggs. I still have lots of larvae that aren't BSFL in my bin. One in particular doesn't look like the pictures of the bottle flies that I find on the internet. When mature, it's white and very soft bodied and has 3 or 4 small soft 'prongs' sticking out of it's rear (at least I think it's the rear). It kind of looks like the nose on a star-nosed mole, but fewer projections. My chicken's get them, but I'd rather focus on the BSFL!! It may be that I just have to put up with them, but if there's any ideas what to do, I'd appreciate it. I'm in a tropical setting where nothing dies in the 'winter', so I can't count on that! (Hawaii - Big Island) Thanks. Susan.


Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:10 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:59 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
In my experience, a healthy colony of BSFL precludes the accumulation of other fly species unless the majority of larvae are ready to pupate. Unlike most on these forums, I have had the most luck with 'dry' bins - which means that they are not sludgy. I use coffee grounds from a local cafe to reduce the moisture in my bins, preventing crawl-outs and also preventing other fly species.


Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:57 am
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Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
Aussiemoo wrote:
Unlike most on these forums, I have had the most luck with 'dry' bins - which means that they are not sludgy. I use coffee grounds from a local cafe to reduce the moisture in my bins, preventing crawl-outs and also preventing other fly species.
The drier frass is certainly nicer to work with too. In my small indoor system I recently had so much of a build up of empty puparia on the surface of one of the rearing tubs that the gravid females stopped laying eggs. When harvesting the frass from this tub the remaining population consisted of only large white and prepupal larvae. Usually there's a good mix of sizes and ages.

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Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:21 am
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Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
If you can at all avoid it - I recommend having separate eclosion and laying tubs. The jostling and the heat of a feeding bin is not a good place for an adult solder fly to hatch into - they're really weak when they first hatch and need it to be calm and dry in order for their wings to unfold properly.


Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:59 am
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Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
With the drier environment the larvae seem content to not crawl off and instead pupate in the frass.

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


Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:05 am
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Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
BorealWormer wrote:
With the drier environment the larvae seem content to not crawl off and instead pupate in the frass.


That would seem to me to be a bad thing. My purpose is to feed the chickens. We have a large wild population, so it doesn't matter if none pupate from the bin. Also, the grubs are so good at getting out of the bins in ways I didn't intend that there are plenty getting out to pupate.

I have noticed that I have very few bottle flies now. I don't know what changed, but I'm glad they're not buzzing around me any more when I'm working on the bin.


Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:08 pm
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Green Bottle Fly larvae and others in my BSFL bin
It's a trade-off really. If you keep a wet bin then you will have issues with odour and moisture level - eventually you may even have issues with mass mortality events depending on your density. If you keep a dry bin the pre-pupae will attempt and eclose in the bin itself, and you have to engage in pre-processing of the food or dosing the foodpile with a dry substrate.

My preferred solution is to keep the bin dry, but dense - dense enough that it's not a nice place for pre-pupae to eclose. What I find is that if I have a piece of cardboard or something large and non-tasty that gets pushed to the surface as part of the regular jostling then it will be covered in dark pre-pupae at night, with the rest circling around the edges of the bin - if I wanted I could build ramps at the sides of my bins. As it is I try and time it so that I have a single generation in each tray, and when they stop eating I screen out the larvae and large items with a trommel or soil screen. I can then begin to consolidate the screened larvae and remove the frass. It's a bit of a juggle as when the bin is over 50% prepupae they quieten down and want to go eclose, but I get around this by having several bins at once, and consolidating the larvae into fewer and fewer bins - meaning eventually it's a tray so packed with larvae they're always getting jostled and wont eclose until it's about 90% prepupae. This may sound like a lot of messing around - but when the bin is dry and odourless it's not even that messy or unpleasant to deal with.

When I add food I ensure to throw in a few handfuls of coffee grounds to absorb some of the moisture and prevent it getting wet enough that a pre-pupae can scale the walls. This means that when I screen, I get a lot of processed coffee grounds and very fine soil every time. I can then use this on the garden as it's full of gut bacteria and nutrients.

There are big players that use wet - I believe this is what Guangzhou Unique does in Guangzhou, but there are also some that use dry methods - like Enviroflight in Ohio.

GZ Unique


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Ultimately it comes down to the potential impacts to you of bad smells and mass escapes versus extra time processing.


Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:38 pm
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