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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any raise these? I'm fascinated by them.

I have a compose bin and was hoping they'd colonize it but I only saw one BSF late fall when it was cold. I'll need to attract them somehow when it gets warmer. I'll try to put some cardboard for them to lay eggs in.

I plan to feed the larvae to the goldfish.
 

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I raise them spring, summer, and fall in a Biopod. But I always have problems getting the amount of food right, either over- or under-feeding. The larva are fed to my chickens, ducks, and frogs. I've never tried feeding them to the goldfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How did you attract them?

The brand bug bites have bsf larvae in them. It's a greener alternative to fish meal, maybe even more nutritious,40% protein, 30% fat.
 

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They are native in my region and almost any compost pile with kitchen scraps will attract them. If I remember correctly, moist stale bread is supposed to be good. Adult females are very attracted to anywhere larva have already hatched, so the best way to start a culture is to get a few live larva.

If you saw any adults last fall, then they are in your area and should colonize a suitable spot. If you make hot compost, the heat will kill the larva or drive them away, so keep the culture medium cooler. I wrote about this in my blog http://www.michaelparkey.com/blog.php. Scroll down until you see "Stampede at Maggot Farm!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I hear a healthy compost pile won't attract them as much. I'll have to bait them in a separate container with scraps and oatmeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got a closer look and found my compost is full of insects including predators like ants and centipede. I'll have to make a separate container if I want BSF larvae.
 

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My Biopod has just really cranked up in the last two weeks. Not many mature larva to harvest yet, but if you listen closely you can hear the immature larva munching away. When I get a really active population of larva, other insects tend to leave the Biopod alone.
 

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I get lots of soldierfly grubs in my compost bucket (a large plant pot with drain holes, on the shady side of the house). They are good for turtles and fish that CHEW their food. Be careful feeding them to things that grab & swallow, without chewing. I think I accidentally killed some salamanders (blue-tail newts) by feeding them soldierfly grubs; their exoskeleton is like leather!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yeah, they look pretty tough. You can dry them I suppose. I was thinking drying them and making a powder to add to fish food. You can buy dried on amazon for $7-$17/lbs.

I put some cardboard in my compost to see if any flies would lay eggs in them. I doubt it.
 

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Could be. The toads are aggressive eaters, and are considered among the easiest exotic amphibians to keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been having cooler nights here for the past 3 weeks and my compost finally has BSF larvae. I guess the location and compost are in a big black plastic container is usually too hot for them.
 
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