All The Details You Need To Know About Black Soldier Fly

What Are Black Soldier Flies?

The black soldier flies are native to the neotropical areas, but they have now spread across various continents, especially in the cosmopolitan. These flies are mostly found in Europe and the United States, including southern France, the Iberian Peninsula, Malta, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Russia’s Black Sea coast, and the Canary Islands. However, they are sometimes seen in South Africa and North America along with the Nearctic realm.

The black soldier flies are likely to measure around 16mm and are known to have a black body as well as some metallic reflections. The metallic reflections are green and blue in the thorax region, while the end of the abdomen will be red. However, the second part of the abdomen has transparent areas. They have wide heads and extremely developed eyes. Not to forget, the black soldier flies have antennae twice in length as their head.

 

Black Soldier Fly

The black soldier flies are black, while the tarsi are whitish in appearance. Their wings tend to be membranous, and they are generally horizontally folded over their abdomen (they will overlap). The females are known to lay anywhere between 206 eggs and 639 eggs at one time, and they lay these eggs in the crevices or around decaying matter, such as compost and manure. In addition, they only take four days for hatching.

The larva at the initial stage will be around 1mm and can reach up to 25mm and weigh over 3.4g by the end of the larva stage. They are highly likely to feed on organic matter and will adapt to the diets according to the nutrient profile. When it comes down to the larval stage, it ranges from 18 days to 36 days, depending on what diet they consume, whereas the post-feeding stage goes up to seven days. If they don’t have access to the right weather/temperature conditions and food, the length will be limited.

As far as adult flies are concerned, their lifespan ranges from 47 days to 73 days when they have sufficient food and water supply. In addition, they can survive on their fat reserves for eight to ten days. What’s most surprising is that the adults and larvae are not considered vectors or pests. They play an essential role as decomposers because they break down the organic substrates and return the nutrients to the soil.

Black soldier flies at the larval stage have an aggressive appetite and can be utilized for composting agricultural waste and food scrap products. In addition, they are used as a protein alternative for animal feed, human nutrition, aquaculture, and pet food. The larvae are produced at the industrial scale with the implementation of biotechnology. Not to forget, they are used for composting waste products into pet and animal feed. Also, the larvae are suitable for transforming biomass into their feed.

Since they can be used as feed, they can be consumed by pigs, poultry, turtles, fish, dogs, and lizards. Also, it can be used for feed for aquaculture. When at the pupal stage, these flies will be at the top of the nutritional profile and can be kept at room temperature for weeks. As far as the shelf life is concerned, it needs to be between 10 degrees Celsius and 16 degrees Celsius.

Why Do Black Soldier Flies Cluster Up In Your Home?

The black soldier flies are highly likely to cluster up in your home when you remove the bee’s nest in a nearby area, especially from an inaccessible area. That’s to say because this soldier flies tend to scavenge through the waste materials found in the bee combs. In addition to this, the black soldier flies will be seen around and under the compost piles, trash cans, and dumpsters.

How To Get Rid Of Black Soldier Flies?

Whenever you find black soldiers flying in the buildings and around them, it’s a sign that some nearby area has trash fields and dumpsters. For this reason, it’s important to inspect the trash cans, compost piles, and dumpsters because the pupae and peculiar larvae will be seen under and around the dumpsters. On the other hand, the young larvae will be sunk in the moist organic material and compost piles which makes them challenging to identify.

However, the black soldier flies are likely to crawl into more visible areas during the last phase for pupating purposes. Keep in mind that black soldier flies are likely to feed on the damp organic material, but some of them are also aquatic, which means they can lay eggs at the water’s edges. However, the aquatic ones aren’t seen in homes. As far as the removal of black soldier flies is concerned, we are sharing the details below!

Chemical Control & Sanitation

When it comes down to getting rid of the black soldier flies, the first step is to opt for sanitation. Sure, there are a variety of sprays and traps to use but removing the source is essential to ensure the elimination is on point. For this reason, you need to clean the materials and food items where the flies have a chance of laying the eggs – make sure that such potential breeding mediums are eliminated. If you kill these flies, it will be easier to reduce the infestation, but proper management is needed for eliminating the breeding areas.

For this purpose, you can use pyrethrum space sprays, including CB 80 Pyrethrin and Stryker 54, because they have a quick killing capacity that can significantly reduce the population. As far as the dumpsters are concerned, spraying the chemical sprays will be helpful, but it’s obvious that sanitation is more important. This is because the flies will rest on the sprayed-up area and pick up the insecticides, which results in their death.

Keep in mind that the surfaces should be wet to a runoff point but make sure there are no puddles there. As far as cleaning the dumpsters is concerned, opt for Invade Hoot Spot and Invade Bio Foam. You need to apply these sprays at every place where these flies are likely to land. In addition, you need to spray the entry points, such as doors and windows (you can use insecticides for this purpose). You can use Cipher WSP as it’s the wetting powder that can be mixed with water to make it sprayable.

Where Do Black Soldier Flies Come From?

The black soldier flies are found in Australia along with the subtropical and tropical areas of the western hemisphere, where they breed in compost, outdoor toilets, and manure. In addition, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they are seen in every continent around the world, but they are limited out of Antarctica. For the most part, they are seen in forested, rural, and urban areas.

Will Black Soldier Flies Sting Or Bite Me?

When compared to the houseflies, the black soldier flies won’t fly much because their expandable energy is a pretty limited ability. This is because they have a limited ability to consume food, even as adults. However, they are convenient to catch and can be relocated. As far as biting and stinging is concerned, there are no such chances with them.

How Bad Is The Sting Of A Black Soldier Fly?

The black soldier flies come with a pair of wings, but they don’t have a stinger. Sure, they can create loud buzzing sounds which concern people, but they don’t bite or sting, which means you don’t need to worry about the severity.

Are Black Soldier Flies Destructive?

When it comes down to destructiveness, it’s often associated with the infrastructure. However, they do have the capacity of breaking up the waste, which results in compost development. In addition, the availability of black soldier flies in the near surroundings helps keep the pesky blowflies at a distance and can eliminate the pollutants. That being said, they are harmless to people, and they don’t pose any harm to the infrastructure either.

Do Black Soldier Flies Get Attracted To Water?

No, they are not attracted to water, but they are attracted to kitchen scraps. Some of the most attractive components include vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, rotten potatoes, corn, fruit scraps, and different forms of putrescent compost.

Why Are Black Soldier Flies Bad?

Honestly, they are only bad because they have a loud buzzing sound that annoys everyone around them. However, they aren’t bad for human health or infrastructure.