How hardy are Black Soldier Flies? Malathion/pesticides

Aziara

Songster
Jun 1, 2016
108
58
101
I'm considering building a BSFL composter/harvester, but I'm not sure whether I should bother. Does anyone know if BSF adults can survive malathion being sprayed at night? My neighborhood is sprayed 3-4 times a week, sometimes I've heard the truck come back for a second pass. I don't get many june bugs, strangely the only things unaffected seem to be the mosquitoes, the crazy ants, and the fleas, all of which thrive (grrrr....).
Should I even spend the time to build one? If so, how much of a quail's and a chicken's diet can be BSFL?
 

azjustin

Chirping
Apr 1, 2016
264
47
73
Tucson, AZ
In my experience: the larvae are extremely hardy and should be able to handle low doses of just about anything. However, the flies are extremely sensitive and probably will get knocked off.

It won't cost you much to build one and give it a shot, can't hurt to try!

BSFL would be a great food for chicken and quail, I was looking to do a 50% supplement.
 

Aziara

Songster
Jun 1, 2016
108
58
101
Ok, I built a homemade bin from rubbermaid containers and pvc pipes, and ordered approx. 100 live BSFL to get it started. I'm shoveling quail poop into it every day--for some reason, I don't usually have a lot of food scrap lying around.
The BSFL look like they are enjoying their new home, eating and growing. I got the first one in the collection bucket 2 days ago.
There's also some blowfly maggots in there, (blowfly seem to love the quail poop), and some tiny brown spiky maggots I can't identify. They end up on the collection bucket too, so I guess they also seek high ground.
What size holes are necessary for the adults to go in to lay eggs? I'm worried that the holes I poked in the sides with a big nail might not be large enough.
 

azjustin

Chirping
Apr 1, 2016
264
47
73
Tucson, AZ
The larvae always do really well and are composting machines.

I used the open end of cardboard strips for the flies to lay eggs but it molds pretty quick. Plastic (I'm drawing a blank here) with the same structure is even better. They don't need much to lay eggs in, but the fresh hatched larvae need to drop into the composting material. You'll know the flies are laying eggs because some of the holes will be filled in.

I just dumped the "extra" larvae out for the chickens and hand sorted the BSFL larvae for hatching or food.
 

Aziara

Songster
Jun 1, 2016
108
58
101
Yeah, the cardboard strips are goners already--They somehow got soaked through and fell off, even though water isn't getting into the bin (evaporation? I dunno)
Will they lay eggs without any cardboard?

Wish I know the identity of the spiky brown maggots. They are just so weird looking. I tried a google search of "maggot identification", which somehow got me photos of maggot-filled wounds. I nearly lost my lunch
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The quail sure love eating them, whatever they are.
I'll take a picture tomorrow and see if anyone here knows what they are.

Got one more BSFL today, let him go so I get more later.
 

azjustin

Chirping
Apr 1, 2016
264
47
73
Tucson, AZ
They'll lay eggs, just not where you want them to
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Any corrugated plastic sign (in strips) will work, just secure it tightly above the compost material.

Eww....LOL Post a picture...
 

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