Of all the insects on the planet, why is it the Black Soldier Fly that is the solution to so many of the worlds’ environmental challenges?
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) eat organic waste which would have otherwise ended up in a landfill
- The outputs are a high quality protein for animal feeds, as well as a high quality fertilizer to be used to improve the nutrient levels of soil for crop farming – all in just 14 days
- BSFL thrive in an equatorial environment (hello East Africa) in temperatures of between 26 and 31 degrees
- BSFL have no mouth parts therefore they are not a vector for disease as with the common house fly
- Their biological makeup varies but includes 45-60% protein, as well as other essential amino acids, vitamins (a better composition for animal feed)
The life cycle:
A black soldier fly’s life is very influenced by environmental factors such as temperature, light (and dark) and humidity therefore, the full life cycle can be from 40 days upwards.
- Eggs: The eggs are laid in cracks that the female find which are located above a smelly substrate. On hatching these microscopic larvae will fall into this substrate and start eating
- Larvae: In a perfect environment, these larvae grow from approximately 1mm to 25mm eating through organic waste throughout this stage of life. This stage of life can last months if the temperature is too low and if there is an unavailability of food – they do not die.
- Pupate: At this stage the larvae changes from a whitish colour to a dark brown colour and ultimately converts it exoskeleton into a hard “cocoon” where it will turn into a fly and then emerge as an adult.
- Fly: The adult surviving purely on their fat stores for 7-14 days to fly, meet a mate in the air, land on a surface and mate. The female then lays 400-800 eggs.