Raising flies? What?!
The idea of raising flies, or at least their larva, rightly hits us as being simply gross.
That's because we work so hard to avoid and kill the common House fly which is a known vector for hundreds of human diseases.
Small landholder farmers here in Honduras often face a problem that once they have purchased some chickens or a few pigs they lack the resources to buy commercial feed. They’re thinking might be that these animals will simply forage, and they are able to do that to a point, but normally this leaves the animals with a very poor diet. Once the animal has foraged over an entire area they’re left with nothing to eat. Chickens with a little or no feed do not produce eggs and pigs with little to no feed do not grow.
To the rescue comes the super fly, or better known as the black soldier fly. The black soldier fly actually looks more like a wasp then a fly and unlike the common housefly it is not considered a disease vector. More importantly the larva of the black soldier fly grows to about 3/4 of an inch long which is an amazingly large larva for a fly. The larva is made up of about 40% protein and 30% fat making it an excellent feed source for animals.
Raising Larva in Honduras
Black soldier flies are common in Honduras better not a nuisance fly. This is because in the fly stage they do not have a functioning mouth. So, are not looking for food it will not bother your picnic. They’re living on the stored energy from the larval stage and so will have a very short life of the only 4 to 8 days.
Since the black soldier fly is common here, it is easy to attract to lay eggs which will hatch into larva. The larva can be said on kitchen scraps and even manures, both of which are abundant and free. We are showing people how to convert a free waste material into an Animal feed.
We have kept a home size larva bin, made from a 55 gallon plastic drum, in continuous production for four years. This is important because of our experience that we have gained on the larva management and can now pass on to the local people.
We find the black soldier fly and it’s larva to be and amazing example of God as the incredible designer. To make a fly that looks like a wasp, or maybe it was making a wasp that looks like a fly, is simply amazing. To design a larva that has such an unbelievably powerful antimicrobial defense system that it easily lives in putrefying material and even shuts down the invading bacterial and fungal activity. When the larva matures it has an innate desire to climb up to seek out soil to dig into and change into its final fly form, and we can take advantage of this by providing a simple ramp that then creates an automatic harvest of the larva.