Odd Duck
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That might be a black soldier fly larva

[img]https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/local_images/eee00001b.jpg[/img]

I was watching an episode of "Dirty Jobs" and Mike Rowe was at a forensic studies "body farm" type place where they had pigs laid out in various situations. They were talking about black soldier flies, I got to thinking about how they are known to invade worm farms and did a search, thought about this thread, yada, yada.

You might think about putting them in a vented jar with a bit of moist worm bedding. Let them emerge and see if it's something you need to worry about.
Sharon
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rainbowgardener
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Yes! That is exactly what it looks like! Thanks! So not a problem when they are in my outdoor compost pile, but probably not something I want in the indoor worm bin....

Now I have to see if I can find them again! :(
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applestar
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Maybe you can start a tiny BSF compost for things worms don't eat and you can't put in the outside pile. For starters, I'm thinking a quart or 1/2 gal canning jar with window screen screwed down with the ring lid. Do you eat cheese? 8)

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rainbowgardener
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You are wonderful, AS! :) Who else would have thought it? I was busy being all creeped out and you think about a special compost (bin? jar? whatever) for them.

Too bad I didn't read your post a little bit ago. I was going to feed my worms any way, so I dug through the best I could and found 4 more of the larvae. I just pitched them out by the bird feeders, where I thought they might become high protein bird food.

It might be a little beyond my current level of appreciating all things natural to keep a jar full of flies and maggots and feed them! Though I understand and admire the sentiment.

I of course don't know if there are more in there that I haven't found yet. If I find more later, maybe I will reconsider.

But the worms seem to be doing well and the food keeps disappearing. No more little flies came out this time and it continues to have no odor but damp fall leaves.

I do eat some cheese and dairy. It doesn't usually create any leftovers. If there is a little end of cheese that gets moldy or something, I just throw it in the compost bucket. But I'm being very selective about what goes in the worm bin, just coffee grounds, potato peels and the best stuff from the bucket. A lot is still going out to the outdoor pile.

I'm enjoying the worm bin experiment... BSF's and all. But nobody tell MH who still hasn't discovered the bin. :) If MH knew about the BSF's, the bin would probably have been pitched outdoors by now...
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rainbowgardener
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kinda creepy

Checked through my worm bin. Worms seem to be doing fine and there are now castings all along the sides of the bin and worm tea at the bottom.

But I found (and removed) 4 more BSF larvae. I don't know if they are ones I missed before or if they appeared new. I'm not liking this part too much. Looking forward to when it is warm enough that I can move the worm bin outside, where it seems like it belongs more.

Also since I started with just a few worms, they aren't producing castings very fast, although they seem to do a good job of chewing through a cupful of kitchen scraps in a week or so. I don't think by seed starting time I will have any noticeable amount of worm castings. I think I will just keep it going, add more worms in the spring when they are easier to come by (with 6" of snow and frozen ground under it, no way I am going to find any more soon!) and hope that NEXT year's seed starting I will have a good crop of worm compost to work with.

@Green Mantis... any update on how your new bin is doing?
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The Helpful Gardener
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Image is a wee fuzzy, but I suspect [url=https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/2006/issue6/]sod webworm[/url]...

Off them. No plusses there... :twisted:

HG
Scott Reil

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rainbowgardener
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I know my image wasn't great, but no I really think it is the black soldier fly. The tapering shape and the little peg-thingy at the back end are perfect match. And as I read up on BSF, it is famous for infesting compost piles and worm bins.
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DoubleDogFarm
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RBG,

The peg-thingy is actually on the front end and is used for climbing out of the feeding zone. At this stag they are no longer eating and are waiting until Spring.

If you want to raise BSF, you really need a type of setup like this one. This is a self harvesting BSF composter.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC01744.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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Great information DDF, but no I really don't want to raise BSF's. I found and removed one more today. Also found a little snail climbing up the side, which I also removed. Quite the little eco-system in there; more so than I really wanted, but intriguing.
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Green Mantis
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:) Worm bin is doing great. They are very busy in there, haven't ( thankfully) found anything weird in there, like you did. They go through those leaves and food fairly fast. I definately want to get more worms in the spring, as I want to start another bin, but I don't want to take any worms out of this one. They all seem pretty happy in there! Definately fun, because with the cold, and snow here, I can't do anything outside, as far as composting. Can't even get to it. So since Spring IS coming ( eventually) That compost bin might get moved, or hopefully we will have a door out to that side of the yard, by then. Then the outside compost bin can stay there. I seriously can't WAIT until it's time to start seeds. After Joining this site, I have got the gardening bug BAD!!!!-------But the worm bin keeps my fingers in the dirt! I just have to snoop every so often! :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah, given how few worms I started with (maybe 50 I dug up--I think most people start by ordering 500), I'm impressed with how fast they chew through a cupful of food. But I am still carrying compost out to the (frozen) outside pile as well.

In the spring when worms are accessible again outside, I will add more. I won't have much worm castings this time for seed starting, but there is some "worm tea" starting to accumulate in the tray underneath the bin!

In the meantime, I sent in my seed order today, so hopefully will be starting the first seeds in a couple weeks.
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rainbowgardener
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Worm bin still doing well. Worm tea accumulating and I think now a bit of layer of castings as well. After pulling a total of about a dozen BSF larvae out, haven't found any more for awhile. I discovered that my worms don't like onions. I pulled some onion skins and trimmings back out after they had sat there at least three weeks while a lot of other things got eaten. Anyone else have worms that won't eat onions? I guess it makes sense, we use onions in insect repellants, critter repellants, and they have some fungicidal and bacteria-cidal properties. So if all those other representatives of the animal kingdom don't like them, why should earthworms? Interesting that people do. (Though personally I can't deal with raw onions, some people do.)

I am impressed with how fast these worms can disappear kitchen scraps. I'm up to giving them about a cupful twice a week now. Among the many reasons for looking forward to spring is being able to dig some more worms to add to my bin, get it really cranking. Maybe at that point I will start a new bin and clean this one all out...
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The Helpful Gardener
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Onions, garlic, anything with a anti-bacterial kick are less than favored... I always steered clear of citrus as well...

Any casings yet? Try melon; that always seems to get them in the mood...

HG
Scott Reil

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