I often find my discussions of the black soldier fly (BSF) as related to waste recycling almost to be analogous to discussing a "cage match" in wrestling (check out the link to understand cage matches) The BSF larva is the champion and all waste types are the challengers. Who can enter the ring and defeat the champion? In other words- is there a waste the BSF larva cannot digest???
Now, I realize there are some waste streams the BSF does not recycle as well as others. I actually remember trying to raise BSF on paper waste.... I won't go into too much detail but needless to say- they larvae didn't do very well.
But- when you consider most common waste streams- especially produced through agriculture, the BSF does a pretty good job.
Here is another example of how good the BSF larvae are at recycling such wastes.
Julita, U., Y. Suryani, I. Kinasih, A. Yuliawati, T. Cahyanto, Y. Maryeti, A. D. Permana, and L. L. Fitri. 2018. Growth performance and nutritional composition of black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L), (Diptera : Stratiomyidae) reared on horse and sheep manure. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 187: 012071.
In the case of this study- BSF larvae were able to recycle the waste; however, their performance was much better when these manure types were mixed with vegetable water. A couple of things to keep in mind- these waste streams (sans vegetable waste) are typically low in moisture and high in tannins- but which can be detrimental to insect development.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Wrestling Fan when discussing BSF
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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