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Black Soldier Flies – Are Insects Beneficial or Harmful?

Black soldier flies

Black soldier fly (scientific name is Hermetia Illucens), is an insect but brings many benefits to economy and environment, easy to raise, easy to develop. From eggs, larvae, carcasses… are valuable for the production development activities of the people. In addition, it is also used to treat waste in agriculture and craft villages. This insect is getting a lot of attention because of its benefits as well as the economic value it brings.

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Black soldier flies are available in the natural environment of our country.

Adults are black, 12–20 mm long, easily confused with bees; Their life cycle is about 1 month. Eggs develop into larvae, pupae, and finally molt into black soldier flies. Females lay 500-800 eggs. Adults live about 3-5 days, do not need to eat, live under the shade of trees.

Black soldier flies
The life cycle of the black soldier fly

Black soldier flies do not sting fruits and land on food like house flies, so they are quite safe for hygiene and bacterial infections. Their main food is spoiled fruits. So the cost of food is very economical. However, black soldier fly larvae are very voracious, during a life cycle, 1kg of larvae will consume 5kg of fruit.

Their products are very useful, play an important role in the development and are an effective source of food for the current livestock industry such as eggs, pupae, carcasses, etc. In addition, the speed of organic waste disposal. The muscle of this larvae is very fast, so they are used to treat organic waste from daily life, processing plants,…; poultry manure treatment.

Endless source of food for livestock

Nutritional food for swiftlets

Lure swiftlets, raise swiftlets with black soldier flies - Black Soldier Flies
raising oats with black soldier flies

Using black soldier fly cocoons to make bird’s nest food is a solution to replace the natural food source of the bird’s nest which is increasingly depleted. In particular, reducing the mass death of swiftlets in the harsh winter. With a food source from black soldier flies and a combined model of raising black soldier flies in the swiftlet house, farmers can take the initiative in the source of food for the swiftlets in all circumstances.

Nutritious food for aquatic animals

Black soldier flies
Aquaculture with black soldier flies

Replacing fishmeal with black soldier fly larvae meal is seen as a sustainable solution for the aquafeed industry. Black soldier fly larvae decompose organic waste into high-quality, nutrient-rich compost, reducing waste by 80-90%. Thereby, contributing to reducing the amount of waste in the natural environment and helping to increase income through the use of fertilizers from black soldier flies to take care of crops or sell larvae and fertilizer of black soldier flies.

Nutritional feed for poultry

Black soldier flies
Poultry feed from black soldier fly

With a high nutritional content, black soldier fly provides a full range of necessary nutrients for poultry, helping your products to achieve high quality when exported to the market, safe for human health. This is a competitive advantage with other similar products.

53% of the fat in the larvae is lauric acid, which has antibacterial properties, helping birds increase resistance. So when using black soldier fly larvae as food for poultry, it is like adding a source of natural antibiotics to poultry, helping poultry to limit some diseases.

Using black soldier flies to dispose of waste

Black soldier fly larvae are known as the most voracious eaters. With a large and strong mouth structure, they eat all the organic waste quickly before the organic compounds have time to decompose and create odors. About 50% of the waste is decomposed by them within 24 hours, which shows that they are capable of consuming a large amount of waste about 100-200 tons per day.

Black soldier flies
organic waste treatment

The method of using black soldier fly larvae to treat organic waste does not cause odors, does not generate wastewater, does not create the greenhouse effect, and reduces the volume of waste by up to 90%. Another advantage worth considering is that it will significantly reduce the cost of collecting, transporting and burying organic waste.

Interestingly, with large numbers of larvae feeding and excreting feces, the larvae produce a substance that is detrimental to egg laying and hatching of flies and other insects. Not to mention that due to their voracious appetite, the black soldier fly larvae also directly compete for the food of other larvae.

Larvae are used to produce organic fertilizers

Black soldier flies
fertilizer from the corpses of black soldier flies

The remaining black soldier fly larvae (looks like coffee grounds, black or dark brown and fine) is considered an organic fertilizer, rich in nutrients and beneficial bacteria, which can be used to supplement plants. planting or improving infertile soil. In addition, their excrement is also used as a very good food for worms, such as earthworms.

Application for production of Chitin, Chitosan, Black fly oil

There have been many developed countries that can produce chitin, chitosan, extract oil from the hard shell of black pupae, etc.

Chitin extracted from black larvae belongs to Alpha type and is the production material for the final product, chitosan. It is of high purity, and the quality is controlled. The chitosan obtained from this chitin can be used raw, purified or modified (chitosan derivatives, oligomers, etc.)

Chitin and Chitosan are widely used in industries such as medicine, cosmetics, environmental treatment, etc.

This application requires the application of advanced technologies, which are not common in Vietnam.

Harmless to humans and the environment

As an adult, the black soldier fly flies out into the natural environment and often lives on green trees, so it does not affect human life at all, does not cling to food, does not cling to the human body or to the human body. Which pathogens are harmful to human health? The young caterpillars of the “black soldier” fly also secrete pheromones that inhibit the reproduction of house flies, contributing to reducing the growth of the house fly population, helping to protect a cleaner living environment.

Emilia Chaney
Emilia Chaneyhttps://agrisearch.net
My name is Emilia Chaney. I'm a social girl from Romania with a big smile and 3 passions: Agriculture, Travel and Social Media. I try to make this blog practical, full of great advice and inspiring ideas.

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