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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a Bug's Life

I have been wanting this for some time...I stumbled upon these creatures one day on you tube, but I never actually saw a picture of what they look like, I just knew that they were beneficial and not pesty at kind of bug. I had no idea how to even go about getting them, I tend to forget things rather quickly and so it was in this case LOL ;) Until....a couple of weeks ago......
I opened a sealed bag of bird seed and freaked out!!! Can you see the creepy crawlies in there???

Perhaps you can see them better here.....I scooped some of them up for a closer *safer* look. ;) I had called my sweet, dear cousin for something "out of the ordinary" and we got onto this subject. She suggested that I might have soldier flies....I googled it and sure enough!!! That's what I have!!! How about that one for ya!!! Something I wanted and had forgotten about and now here it was.....freaking me out!!! LOL

Adult soldier fly....they have no mouth parts. After emerging from their pupae state they fly off to mate...lay eggs, then die. The best part is when they are larvae. They are nature's garbage disposals! They will devour food in no time. I have a yard debris composter and leftover "disposers" but these little critters are the answer for me on foods that my chickens can't or shouldn't eat. A huge plus also, is the larvae makes excellent food for your chickens, birds and/or fish! On you tube they have really nice composters for these, but alas, I'm someone that "if I can make it without it costing me money......well..."
I looked around and found an old empty tub. I had a glass cutting board that I NEVER use because "it's not good for the knives". I used that for my separator. The larvae has to have a dry place to migrate to in order to pupate into adulthood.
I placed a brick next to the separator to hold it in place long enough for me to get things going in the compost side.
Left side compost side...right side dry side It also has to have a drain outlet. I drilled a small hole and put a small hose in the hole. I also had a piece of old window screen that I placed over the hole on the inside. I didn't have a picture of that to post though.
Hole and hose on the inside.....left side...compost side
Hose on the outside, I put a stopper in it but ended up taking it out because of the backup.
Scraps and of course the larvae that was in the jar above.
Finished! Now to wait to see if it aim was to see if they would reproduce. Even though I saw a few flies hanging around I wasn't sure it would "work". Another very important thing is when making it this way you have to have it angeled so it will drain out of the tube.
YES!!!! Just what I wanted to see! See the end of the stick I had holding the top ajar???? See the white stuff??? That's eggs!!! I'm so excited.....
I know...I doesn't take much for me......what can I say....I'm just a Nature Nut!!! ;)



  1. That's great Julie! Our compost pile always has soldier flies in it. Probably because I just can not keep the ratio good enough to keep it hot! Our chickens love to peck through the compost for those huge, plump grubs. No fear of them eating too many - those soldier flies are quite prolific!

  2. I did meal worms for a while but them I forgot about them and they froze. Ooops. I don't have too much to compost. Everything get sorted between the goats, sheep and birds and the only thing I might have left over is lemon or lime hulls but to be honest I should probably be drying those and grinding them up for my soaps.