What Are Soldier Flies: Help For Larva Found In Compost Piles

by johnah on November 19, 2020

What are Soldier Fly?

Soldier fly larvae (also known as maggot flies) are small insects with wingspans of less than 1 mm. They have two pairs of legs and three eyes, which they use to see their food, or rather prey. Their bodies are covered with fine hairs called setae, which allow them to grip onto surfaces such as wood and soil. These hairs also serve to protect the larval stage from predators like spiders and other flies.

The adult female soldier fly lays up to 500 eggs inside a hard shell called a cocoon. After hatching, these tiny maggots will feed on decaying organic matter until they pupate into the next generation of flies.

How Do You Get Rid Of Maggots In Compost Bins?

Maggot removal is one of the most common problems faced by home gardeners. There are many methods available to remove maggots from your compost bins. Some of the most popular include:

1. Heat – This method works well if you live in a warm climate where there is no frost during winter months.

However, it may not work at all in colder climates. Dig a hole in your compost, drop in the maggots and cover it up with a tarp. Add some kind of heating source under the tarp until the maggots are incinerated.

2. Chemicals – Maggot eggs are very susceptible to chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.

If you have access to these chemicals, all you need to do is add some to your compost bin or pile and let it sit for a while.

Sources & references used in this article:

Potential of Black Soldier Fly Production for Pacific Small Island Developing States by M Shelomi – Animals, 2020 – mdpi.com

Integrating biosystems to foster sustainable aquaculture: using black soldier fly larvae as feed in aquaponic systems by A Stankus – 2013 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu

Tolerance of immature black soldier flies (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) to cold temperatures above and below freezing point by J Villazana, A Alyokhin – Journal of Economic Entomology, 2019 – academic.oup.com

The first report of the physicochemical structure of chitin isolated from Hermetia illucens by A Waśko, P Bulak, M Polak-Berecka, K Nowak… – International Journal of …, 2016 – Elsevier



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