critters in my BSF starter setup

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by d wenzel, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. d wenzel

    d wenzel New Member

    Mar 13, 2017
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    texas 8a
    I started a 32gal trash can style Black Soldier Fly composter a couple of days ago. Some critters have come to visit (stay?)

    ants. solved the entrance of new ants by raising the bin onto blocks inside a water basin. no new ants, anyway.

    garden snake. came in with some leaf mold, and fall leaves. he played dead when i saw him, so, i left him for composting....surprise. not dead.

    housefly maggots were the first colony. they fell out of the air holes below the bin, and drowned in the water bath....i think they have stopped visiting, as i have no new maggots. (the drowned critters fed my aquaponics goldfish)

    today, i found a small gray lizard (i think they are called "Swifts" here in Texas) did not want to let me help it out of the bin, but ran and hid.....i did not want to sort thru 20" of composting materials at various stages of aging, so i let him be for now.

    i do see the beginnings of soldier fly larvae, in small numbers.

    my question: will the lizard and the garden snake prove to be predators to my BSF larvae, or should i just let them be?
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2013
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    gardening, reading, etc
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    i have no idea how rapidly BSF larvae grow or how quickly they mature
    after they pupate... perhaps you could think of the lizard as your
    chicken for that bin? :)

    if the bin is active enough to give off some heat that is probably why
    the snake moved in. we have a lot of rocks around here that they
    like to perch on during the warmer seasons. luckily we have very
    little in the way of poisonous snakes here, even if they can be rather
    fiesty. i've had snakes of only a few cm in length try to bite my hand
    - it was funny to see them bounce off it.

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