Monday, June 28, 2010

Attracting Flies?

I think I'm the only person I know who WANTS to attract flies. No, not house flies or fruit flies. I've got plenty of those out around the compost bin. The fly I am trying to invite to live here is the elusive (apparently) Black Soldier Fly. Or, more specifically, the BSF larva. The larva would be beneficial to me for 2 reasons, composting and chicken treats. They compost organic material MUCH faster than red worms. And once you have a colony established you can compost just about ANY organic material including meat, fat, dairy....even feces if you really wanted to. All things that would be a big no-no on your ordinary backyard compost pile. Here is a video showing how the larva make short work of 2 salmon (one cooked, one raw) over a 24 hour period. And here is an excellent video showing the larva being propagated in a commercial BioPod. This is a residential BioPod, which is a tad more affordable(?). BioPods are ridiculously expensive (and you know how I hate that) so I will jury-rig my own set up when the time comes. But first things, first. I need to find some BSF larva. So now you know what those cardboard triangles, in my compost bin, are for. Apparently the female flies like to lay their eggs on those. Theoretically Tacoma is well within the BSF's range. But I have yet to see hide nor hair of one. Yesterday I totally dismantled my worm bin in the hopes of finding a BSF larva or two. Nada. But I did find that one of the trays is full of worm castings that are ready to add to the garden as fertilizer.

The worms didn't seem to do much with the egg shells, or the avocado rind. No problem. It can go right into the dirt. I also drained the worm bin's liquid, from the base, and added some water to it to make "worm tea".

All of my vegetable and herb plants got a little afternoon "tea". But I digress. Back to the BSF situation. Luring them the old fashioned way could take forever. And I am not the patient type. The next step in my plan is to try and track down some live BSF larva also known as Phoenix Worms. I guess they had to give them a prettier name to be able to sell them. Phoenix Worm sounds so much nicer than maggot or grub. I will be checking at my local pet stores and bait shops. Wish me luck!

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