yanksnick
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Location: Hoboken, NJ

Black Soldier Larvae

Morning,

I converted a 20gallon tub into a compost bin on my room.

I have been noticing small scaley worm-like things crawling on my roof, usually after it rains. After research, I concluded they are black soldier larvae.

They are coming from all over the roof, not sure where they are originating. But I have NOT noticed any in the actual compost bin, just around it, under it, and scattered in all directions around the roof.

I don't want to create a colony of black soldier larvae that infiltrate the apartment complex from my composting project!

Is there a way to control this?

Thanks,

Nick
"Man must enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world citizen... - Paramhansa Yogananda

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Black Soldier Larvae

To start with:

I converted a 20gallon tub into a compost bin on my room.

You meant roof?

So, you are trying to do worm composting? Regular composting? 20 gallons is really too small to do effective regular composting. Regular compost pile should be well aerated and turned/mixed occasionally. The more turning and aerating you do, the more you will discourage the BSF's. Also letting the pile dry out more - the BSF larvae like moist places.

I don't have much trouble with the BSF larvae in my regular compost pile. I know there are some there if you look for them, but not enough to be very noticeable.

My worm bin, which is more enclosed, less aerated, stays dark and moist, is a haven for them and I have to keep pulling them out.

If the dark moist space under your compost bin is providing a refuge for them, try putting the bin up on legs - just setting the bin up on tuna/ cat food cans would probably help, taller legs would help more.
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yanksnick
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:43 pm
Location: Hoboken, NJ

Re: Black Soldier Larvae

Thanks for your help.

Yes, I meant roof. I will try elevating it.

Not sure why a 20gal bin is not sufficient for composting. I have it about half full with a 1:1 brown to green mix. I have holes drilled on all sides for ventilation and I turn it a few times a week.

When it rains, I take off the lid to let it dry out so water doesn't build up in the bin.

Nick
"Man must enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world citizen... - Paramhansa Yogananda

DoubleDogFarm
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Re: Black Soldier Larvae

Welcome Nick,

How about some pictures and tell use where you live. More detail in your profile would be helpful.

I'm thinking you may have Armadillidiidae not Hermetia illucens. A picture is the easy way to ID.

Eric

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Black Soldier Larvae

The more your compost pile heats up the more it will discourage whatever kind of arthropod life you have. It is very difficult to get a small amount of compostables to heat up much.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

yanksnick
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:43 pm
Location: Hoboken, NJ

Re: Black Soldier Larvae

DoubleDogFarm wrote:Welcome Nick,

I'm thinking you may have Armadillidiidae not Hermetia illucens. A picture is the easy way to ID.

Eric

Eric,

Thanks for the welcome. I will upload a picture tomorrow, but after comparing pictures of the Armadillidiidae and the Hermetia illucens, the latter look more like what I have.

The Armadillidiidae look vaguely like millipedes, in that it looks like they have a few appendages. The creatures on my roof have no appendages, other than the little "tail" like the Hermatia do.

Either way - I can't let it get out of hand, even if that means removing the compost project.

I will try elevating and keeping it dry, but I'm afraid every time it rains they're going to come back...

Nick
"Man must enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world citizen... - Paramhansa Yogananda

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applestar
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Re: Black Soldier Larvae

If you do have BSF larvae, they are considered beneficial:
Thirdly, the larva's eating style discourages the development of pest flies. As large populations of black soldier fly larvae churn manure, they make it more liquid and less suitable for, not only egg-laying (oviposition) by the pest fly, but the actual development of the pest fly's larvae, thus reducing them substantially.
https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galv ... er_fly.htm

In any case, my understanding is that they won't survive freezing temps of northern winter months.
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