Housefly larvae are usually much smaller than black soldier flies larvae. The housefly maggots writhe & wiggle in a slightly faster and more erratic movement. Whereas the BSF larvae inch forward & around less erratically and more like the movement of a caterpillar.
Black soldier fly's movement:
The housefly larvae we're seeing above are only 1 or 2 days old. Compared to days-old BSF larvae, these guys are smaller. You can see the size difference here:
Let's see another comparison:
Even if we leave the housefly larvae to grow into bigger pupae, they'll still be tiny compared to the BSF pupae. The housefly pupae size are like little black beans or grains whereas the BSF pupae are about an inch or so with more visible stripes on their bodies.
Houseflies do well in a wider temperature range compared to black soldier flies. They love a more anaerobic environment with less oxygen. They reproduce fast & have a shorter life cycle than black soldier flies. For example, houseflies like places with stinky food stuff, more wet or have a more foul smell.
Black soldier flies, in contrast, do better in a more dry or slightly moist environment. They like a more aerobic place with plenty of oxygen to breathe, exchange gases & dissipate the heat. The places BSF larvae usually feed on have a less foul smell because of the steady oxygen supply. Sometimes, it even smells nice.
When you're first starting your BSF colony, you may see houseflies visiting for the first one or two weeks. This is totally normal because the smell of the foods keeps them coming. Make sure not to leave too much excess foods in the bin. Just leave enough to establish your BSF population first.
When they are more crowded, the BSF larvae will actually shoo out the houseflies. They have a special pheromone for this job. From week 3 on, you will see much fewer houseflies around. After some time raising the BSF, the population of houseflies, insects or ants near by may naturally decrease as the BSF take over.
As you can see from the pictures above, the houseflies usually occur during the larvae stage & the pupae stage. If this is a serious problem, try some microbial enzymes to spray them at the pupae stage. This enzyme kills off the housefly pupae while still keeping your BSF pupae alive.
If you'd like more info on how to keep houseflies or insects away from the BSF box, check out this post below with some helpful tips:
With that said, have fun raising & enjoy your gardening!
- Phuong Tim Cu Chi
- Nature's Always Right
- Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/34743731525/in/photostream/
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