Black Soldier Fly in Idaho: Adapting a Manure Management Tool to Temperate Climates
The larvae of black soldier flies, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), can be used effectively to manage livestock manure and other waste byproducts in warm climates. In brief, eggs or larvae are introduced to a manure pit where they consumer manure, thereby reducing manure dry matter and nutrient concentration and incorporating and concentrating nutrients into their biomass. Larvae that are ready to pupate seek a dry environment and migrate out of the manure, providing an opportunity to inexpensively harvest the prepupae for later use as animal feed. A major limitation of existing black soldier fly systems in temperate climates is the shorter fly growing season and the sharp drop in temperature at night, which inhibits larval feeding activity. The primary objective of the work proposed here is to adapt a manure management system
using black soldier fly larvae to dairies in Idaho's temperate climate. Development of such a system could reduce the long-term costs of managing manure as well as the environmental risks associated with manure management in Idaho as well as other temperate climates. The proposal describes experiments in which the optimal environmental conditions for development are determined, the optimal combination of dairy manure and fish waste for development are determined, the effectiveness of black soldier flies in processing manure under field conditions in Idaho are examined, and observations are made on the potential for achieving successful mating to develop laboratory cultures in a temperate environment.