sugarworm
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Odor control in raising soldier flies?

I'm thinking of getting some soldier flies to feed chickens, but as I live with nieghbors that are already incredably tolerant about my chickens I wouldn't want to push it with rotting vegitables :wink: Is the smell ever an issue with raising soldier flies and if so how do I limit the smell?

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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

Hola,

I had to replace a leaking septic tank several years ago. I wasn't looking forward to the job least of all because of the odor. By happenstance, I read about Effective Microorganisms (EM-1) and used the product.

A few days after application was made to the pool of effluent, the odor was gone. Throughout the entire process of removal of the cracked tank, making the excavation larger to accommodate the new tank, and setting it there wasn't any odor.

EM-1 is available at (https://www.teraganix.com/).

At their site, check out Bokashi Composting. It's probably most applicable to your question of odor control in compost for raising soldier fly larva for chicken feed.

You don't have to by their 'bran'. Liquid EM-1 can be sprayed on whatever carbon substrate that is on hand such as saw dust, or shredded paper to replicate the rice bran that is available at Teraganix.

If you decide to try the product, check into the 'activation' process (https://www.teraganix.com/Activated-EM-1-s/261.htm). It's a recipe to produce 22-times more EM-1 than the quantity purchased.

LtT
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applestar
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

EM-1 and Bokashi composting are topics that have been touched on, mostly experimental, in the past threads. I think there are several sources for the basic products and, if I remember correctly, there is a slight difference in the microbe component of the two PRIMARY patents involved. Somewhere, I have a link to a marketing video of farmers in Japan using large scale EM-1 spraying program to control odor in cattle sheds, pig pens, and all over chickens and chicks to keep them healthy. Maybe you could start a new thread on the topic.

I'm reminded to try setting up my Bokashi composter again this winter. 8)

I'm curious, can the BSF grow in Bokashi compost -- is that what you are implying? It's an anaerobic sysytem isn't it, and highly acidic, teeming with digestive enzymes and microbes.... :?

I can think of at least two members here who have talked about raising BSF -- I hope they come around and add their insights. :D
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

I have never (deliberately!) done BSF composting, although I regularly have to pull the larvae out of my worm bin.

I'm not thinking there should be any odor associated with it, when properly managed. I have a compost pile and a worm bin and neither of those have any odor. These kinds of composting are aerobic. As long as they are well ventilated and mixed occasionally and the veggie scraps are mixed in and covered with "browns" (fall leaves, paper, etc.), there shouldn't be any odor. If there is, it is probably too wet or not aerated enough or too "green." Add more brown and mix/ventilate and that should take care of it.

Bokashi composting (fermentation) is anaerobic. As such it is not conducive to other kinds of life. BSF larvae are animals and need oxygen, so couldn't live in a Bokashi compost bin. But I think LtT wasn't talking about that, just spraying the microbes on a regular/ BSF bin. I'm not sure if that works, since my [limited!] understanding is that those are microbes that live in anerobic situations. Anerobic and aerobic microbes are different kinds. But given what's been said about spraying the EM on various things, I could be wrong about that. But in any case, I don't think it should be necessary.
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

Just because this is a BSF thread, I thought I would tack this on here.

There was a covered bucket standing around near the raised beds, which I had totally forgotten what was in it. I lifted the lid to look and got about knocked over by the smell. It was full of dense black stuff, which I still didn't recognize for awhile. Turned out it was a bucket full of grass clippings, which I had intended to use for mulch and then forgot. The bucket was covered but not sealed tight, so rain water had gotten in. So I had a bucket full of wet grass clippings decomposing anaerobically.

But the interesting part, why it goes here, is that the thing was a BSF FARM! I have never seen so many BSF larvae... It was denser packed with them than my worm bin is with worms. [Incidentally the stink wasn't from the BSF's just the anaerobic decomp of the grass.] Enough to make you believe in spontaneous generation. I guess if the rain water could get in, the BSF's could get in to lay eggs, though the thing looked covered.

So if you ever want to raise BSF's, there's your recipe! I just dumped the whole mess on a garden bed in the sun and spread it out to dry. Hopefully birds will find some of the larvae.
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

Wow don't you love (and hate) discoveries like that? :shock:
Some people make that kind of well-marinated dark green nitrogen-rich slurry on purpose.

Too bad I didn't know I would suffer this severe sinus infection that knocked out my sense of smell, I could have been making some of that.... :>

Interesting that BSF liked it in there. 8)
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

Hi,

It took me awhile to get back to the discussion, since I had to forage around in my notes.

I haven't done that much Bokashi, only twice. The last time in three different sized containers.

The first time I used a 20-gallon plastic garbage container. This last time 60, 32, and five-gallon containers were used.

Lime culls and wood chips were used to fill the five and 32-gallon containers. My guesstimate, at this point, is that there were somewhere around 150-pounds of limes that were run through a chipper, combined with wood chips, and then run through the shredder.

'Activated' EM-1 was sprayed at nearly full strength on the material as it was compacted into the containers. That was on December 21st 2012.

On December 31st 2012, the 60-gallon container was filled in much the same way except that the organic matter was a 24-gallon container of kitchen waste (greens & browns), and a week old compost pile made from sweet potato vines and wood chips. This time the organic matter was sprayed with 16-ounces of activated EM-1 mixed with an additional 48-ounces of Reverse Osmosis water for a total of 64-ounces via a small hand pump sprayer while being put through the shredder. Before it was compacted into the container, it was saturated with more tap water.

After four-months, near the end of April 2013, I 'harvested' the 32 and 60-gallon containers. The material at the top of both containers was dry. The centers were moist and somewhat 'fragrant'. While the saturated material at the bottom of the 32-gallon barrel, had a somewhat objectionable odor, and the material from the same level of the larger container, though, not 'gag a maggot', was unpleasant.

Previously, I had mad Bokashi in a 24-gallon barrel. It, also, was the lime cull mixture. When it was 'harvested' after a couple of months, the lime chunks were still identifiable and had a 'glassy' appearance, similar to the difference when cabbage is turned to sauerkraut. It had the definite scent of a ferment.

I just 'harvested' the five-gallon container this week since we were having this discussion. So, it has been 'cooking' for nine months. The material was moist, dark, dark brown to black with what looks to be mycorrhizal filaments on top and it retained a faint scent of lime. Mid-bucket the 'aroma' was stronger and for a time was reminiscent of Latakia tobacco. At the bottom of the bucket lime chunks were still identifiable.

The pH was checked with a meter that has a range from 3.5 to 9H. When the probe was first inserted, it pegged the needle on the alkaline side and settled at 7.25 pH. When the probe was moved slightly, the needle pegged again. It's not a professional instrument, so the most I'd be comfortable indicating is that this bokashi was on the alkaline side.

The first batch of lime-Bokashi was given back to the lime tree and spread at the drip line, though, there was only enough to go half way around the tree. Shortly afterward there was an explosion in the earthworm population in that band.

The following year the tree had at least a 180% increase in the usable fruit. Previous to that, 50% of the tree's ripe fruit had what looked to be blossom end rot.

The season after I had placed the Bokashi I took a soil sample to have that particular 'band' tested. It tested 70% humus.

From my experience, EM-1 works in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. If you can wait awhile longer, I'll look up info in Dr. Higa's books on the issue.

LtT
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Re: Odor control in raising soldier flies?

Here's some of what Dr. Higa relates regarding microorganisms.

Earth Saving Revolution
by Dr. Teuro Higa
Sunmark Publishing Inc. 1996 (English)
pages 24.-28.

"The presumed incompatibility of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms invariably tends to be the first point raised by anyone questioning the validity of EM. Nevertheless, the undeniable fact of the matter is that it is eminently possible for aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms to coexist."

..."Two among the myriad of species of microorganisms found in soil are photosynthetic bacteria and azotobacters. Both species fulfill the vital function of nitrogen fixation."

..."Photosynthetic bacteria are anaerobic, ... azotobacters... are aerobic... both species coexist symbiotically in a most beneficial productive manner."

"How are two apparently different species able to do this? One reason lies in the exchange of food sources that takes place between them. Azotobacters are aerobic, and live and thrive on organic matter, which also supports their process of reproduction and proliferation. The waste matter produced as a result just happens to be the ideal food source for photosynthetic bacteria, which in turn, produce organic waste, therefore providing the sustenance required by azotobacters. It is the mutual exchange represented by this food cycle which fulfills one of the conditions by which both species are able to coexist."

...Azotobacters, being aerobic, require oxygen to live and to reproduce. However, over-proliferation leads to a state where there is insufficient oxygen for their requirements. It is exactly this so-called state of oxygen-deficiency which is utilized by the anaerobic photosynthetic bacteria for their own needs, and which enables them to live, flourish and procreate."

..."(P)hotosynthetic bacteria and azotobacters... are equally capable of living and flourishing together... if certain other necessary criteria of coexistence are met. Having confirmed this to be the case with aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms, I felt it natural to assume a similar process occurred with other types of microorganisms as well. A single gram of soil contains billions of these tiny creatures, and a number of anaerobic species are included among them... varieties which maintain a symbiotic relationship similar to that of photosynthetic bacteria and azotobacters."

..."(I)n the course of numerous experiments, I noticed that species with similar characteristics could broadly be described as regenerative or degenerative in type. I also discovered that in the majority of cases where they shared the same dynamic tendency, they were able to pursue a symbiotic coexistence which was mutually beneficial."

..."(I)t is also true that the vast majority (of microorganisms) are opportunistic in nature: that is, they display a distinct follow-the-leader tendencies which make them conform to the actions of the dominant strains in the group. ...(I)t is the dominant group of microorganisms in the soil which determine whether it becomes regenerative or degenerative. There is an on-going struggle for supremacy between the few most dominant strains, and the other millions of microorganisms simply await the outcome and then adapt and go along with the characteristics of the victor."

..."What EM does is harness the amassed beneficial power generated by typical strains of anabiotic* microorganisms. The group used in EM comprises among others photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and effective actinomycetes, some of which are aerobic and others anaerobic, but all of which are beneficial to human and plant life, and follow en masse the dominant strains of anabiotic microorganisms in the group."

* anabiotic: Lifeless, but capable of resuscitation


In the notes to Chapter 2 on page 203, there is a formula for EM Bokashi. It is different from what I described in my previous post regarding the Bokashi that I made.

I'm not sure if I have overstepped the bounds for relating copyrighted material for the site, so will hold off including until...

LtT
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