Why the Black Soldier Fly and no other insect species?
The following insect species are identified as the species currently grown in the European Union that meet the safety conditions for the production of insects for use in animal feed:
The black soldier fly (Hermetica illucens),
The small mealworm, or the Buffalo worm (Alphitobius diaperinus),
The housefly (Musca domestica),
The flour tower (Tenebrio molitor),
The house cricket (Acheta domesticus),
The zoo cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus)
The steppe cricket (Gryllus assimilis).
Which of these insects is the best to get started?
A selection criterion is: the larvae of the insects must be able to grow quickly with as little food as possible.
Crickets and grasshoppers are much more expensive to breed than mealworm-like, because they need much more space during production. The available space cannot therefore be used efficiently. Crickets and grasshoppers also set specific requirements for feed and feeding times, which increases the cost of breeding. That is why the insects fall under e, f and g. The housefly is very suitable for converting organic residual flows into biomass. The risk with houseflies is that they escape, spread diseases and cause major nuisance. The housefly maintains itself in the climatic conditions of Europe.
Of the above-mentioned species, three remain for large-scale fattening:
the mealworm (Tenebrio Molitor) and the small mealworm (Alphitobius Diaperinus), both of which are promising and whose fattening is relatively easy.
the black soldier fly, the Hermetia Illucens.
Why not the Alphitobius Diaperinus or the Tenebrio Molitor?
The susceptibility to diseases is a major disadvantage of the Alphitobius Diaperinus. Moreover, the cultivation takes eight to nine weeks. This species comes from Africa and the Mediterranean regions of the world, but can now be found worldwide in places where poultry is mass-produced. This species is considered to be one of the primary pests of the poultry industry because of its ability to eat poultry feed, damage poultry houses (larvae look for a place in wood or insulation material to pupate) and that carry pathogens.
However, this species can also be mass-produced and the resulting larvae are harvested and sold as feed for livestock. Is the mealworm suitable for the valorisation machine? Experience shows that mealworms that are grown in crates move to the corners of the crates, away from the food. This gives the expectation that mealworms on the valorization machine are difficult to keep together. This is currently being tested.
This is different for the BSF: they constantly crawl in and through the feed and stay more in the same place. This is an important plus to use the BSF for the valorization machine.
The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) has a shorter life cycle, namely approximately one and a half months. This larvae is approximately two / three weeks in the pupating stage and one week as a fly. Effectively, there are about fourteen days that the BSF can be fattened.