The black soldier fly is a fly whose larvae feed on composting organic material. In different parts of the world, the species is already cultivated to serve as a processor of organic residual flows and the production of animal proteins and fats. The black soldier fly is found worldwide in areas with a tropical to warm climate. The species does not occur in Europe. The consequences of introduction and establishment in Europe are estimated to be small. The black soldier fly lives on organic residual flows and does not affect living plants and therefore does not pose a risk to plant health.
Adult specimens do not bite and the species does not, as far as is known, transmit diseases. The species therefore does not pose a risk to public and animal health. The species is unlikely to be able to sustain itself permanently in Northern Europe because the climatic conditions are not optimal. The black soldier fly poses no risk to the flora and fauna in Europe.
Substrate for the larvae
The more protein in the substrate, the lower the Feed Conversion Ratio. The aim is to collect organic residual flows with as much protein as possible. What can be fed to the larvae of the BSF?
Organic residual flows:
- Bakery residual products (bread, cake, etc.)
- Vegetable and fruit waste
- Egg / dairy residual products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc)
- Beer bundle, grain from the brewer
- Coffee pulp, Beet pulp, Press pulp from the sugar factories, potato steam peels and potato chips, from the potato processing industry, potato press fibers from the potato flour industry, corn gluten, from the corn starch industry.
It is important that the substrate forms a good mix of the above products. Otherwise it has consequences for the composition of the frass.
Where do the residual flows come from? Options:
- Do it yourself: residual flows from local (super) markets. They still have to be processed into a nutritious wet mash.
How much substrate is needed?
Rules of thumb: 100 kg of substrate gives 25 kg of wet larvae: so there is a food conversion factor of 4: 1 This, however, depends on the climatic conditions. A factor of 5: 1 is certainly not excluded.
Comparison of Black Soldier fly with the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius Diaperinus)
- The fat of the BSF consists of 58% lauric acid (C12: 0). This has bactericidal and virus destroying properties. Lauric acid is also found in breast milk. This characteristic makes the BSF very suitable for starter feeds in young animals (fish, young piglets, newly hatched chicks).
- BSF has a shorter lead time => more flexibility in the event of an emergency
- BSF has a much greater diversity in what he eats, and therefore also builds up a much greater resistance to diseases
- The BSF frass has specific characteristics that make the cultivation of this larva more economically viable
- The BSF is an excellent processor of organic residual flows. This gives the possibility of circular working.
What is known about insect emissions?
We refer to the following scientific publications:
- The environmental sustainability of insects
- Greenhouse gas emissions from pig and chicken supply chains
- Sustainable use of Hermetia illucens insect biomass for feed and food: Attributional and consequential life cycle assessment
- From environmental nuisance to environmental opportunity – housefly larvae convert waste to livestock feed