The adults live only a few days, mate in flight and lay about 500 eggs that hatch into larvae that do the above. But, you may say, “Who wants to harvest garbage or manure-eating larvae?” Yuck! Here comes the neat part, they self harvest!
The mature larvae have the rare ability to climb out of their feeding bins when they are of size. They climb a ramp you provide, to seek a place to pupate. At the top of the ramp they drop off into a container or onto the ground for waiting chickens (say) to eat. There are videos showing hens waiting for them and gobbling them up. The larvae are really nutritious too, high in calcium, good for egg laying birds.
Who are these insects? They are Black Soldier Flies and their grubs are sold under various names, such as Phoenix worms, Soldier Worms or BSFL. Many are raised to feed pet lizards and fish.
Universities are writing them up big time. A friend found them written up under the title “Forging a New Food Chain.” We were thinking of self sustaining food chains and here this came up!
He also showed me the most charming video of a tiny little girl feeding hens from a container of grubs. She said “This will make them very happy.”
Hey, George, it makes me happy too!
About the title, Gary Larson who drew The Far Side, made a cartoon of a female bug preparing to leave her husband who was watching tv. She is carrying their grubs and a suitcase. I miss The Far Side.
Watch a happy little girl feeding grubs to chickens.
Watch how the BioPod works.
Find composters and other resources on the Survival Gardening page in the Prep Mart.