Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Is That Thing?!

Something has taken up residence in our worm bins. Or, I should say, LOTS of somethings have taken up residence in our worm bins. Last week I spent several hours picking a bunch out, only to find they've increased ten fold this week. At first I flipped out. They are creepy looking, and also the fact that I didn't know what they were added to the flipping out. So what am I talking about? This:

We have Black Soldier Fly Larvae!!! Gross, right? Right. It is very gross, but also very helpful. Lucky for us, we have millions of them. And I'm quite delighted. I'm perhaps most delighted because, now, since they're helpful, I don't have to spend hours upon hours picking them out. I've read online that they are just as helpful, if not more so, than red worms. They eat a lot! And subsequently poop a lot. I've read online that there are actually people who go to the trouble of acquiring them so as to add them to their compost piles/bins. In Australia they occur naturally, and apparently the same is true for San Diego.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae are not maggots, nay they actually deter maggots and keep them from sprouting up in your bins. And the adult soldier fly is not a pest. Hooray! I am somewhat dubious though, I mean, who determines what a pest is? All I know is that since these little fellas have arrived the fruit fly population has decreased to almost nothing.

They still creep me out, but then again so did the springtails at first. Hopefully I will become desensitized to these guys soon. Anyway, if any of you start worm bins and these things show up, fear not. They're here to help.

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