Are you researching BSF? Are you looking for the ideal conditions for the larvae to grow? You are having a lot of questions how to raise the BSF larvae effectively and which conditions to help the larvae develop well? Usually the environmental conditions and optimal food sources for BSF larvae are basically as follows: Climate & temperature, habitat, water content in feed, required nutrients, feed size. So in order to be able to raise healthy BSF larvae, please pay attention to the conditions mentioned above. Details of each condition will be explained by Kimmy’s Farm in this article.
5 basic conditions for BSF Larvae Farming
- The right climate & temperature.
- Suitable living environment.
- The water content of the food is appropriate.
- Required nutrients in the right food.
- Suitable feed size.
Climate & Temperature
Adequate climate and temperature is an important first prerequisite for the safe and healthy development of BSF larvae. Many studies have shown that the ideal temperature is between 24 and 30 ° C for BSF larvae . If it is too hot, the fly larvae will stop eating and crawl out of the food to look for a cooler spot to stay alive. If it is too cold, their metabolism will be turned back, the larvae will eat less, making them grow and develop slowly than normal.
Summary of suitable climate and temperature for fly larvae is from: 24 – 30 ° C. In which:
- If it is too hot, the fly larvae will stop eating and crawl away.
- If it is too cold, the larvae will be less developed and slow to grow.
- Black soldier fly eggs will slowly hatch if it is too cold.
- Fly eggs will die if it is too hot.
In the larval stage, BSF larvae are a type that prefers the shade and is averse to intense sun. In a natural environment, the larvae will tend to stay away from light and search for cool and humid places to live in. So if fly larvae food is exposed to direct sunlight, they will tend to move deeper into the food layer to escape the sunlight. Since the outer surface of these larvae is so weak they are easily dehydrated, dehydration will greatly affect their vitality.
Summary of suitable habitat for BSF larvae is:
- A shade away from direct sunlight.
- Cool, a humid place with moderate temperature.
- Avoid air pollution.
- Avoid noise pollution.
- Avoid pesticide contamination.
Appropriate Water Content of Food
In the natural environment, BSF larvae like moisture, so they often go to places where food sources are rotting to eat. Here the decomposing mucus of foods, organic matter that looks the rotting phase will be first eaten. So fly larvae farmers need to simulate the environment of the food source that fly larvae love in the wild to help them easily adapt to the artificial environment. Food sources of BSF larvae must be quite wet with a water content of 60% – 90% so that the larvae can easily eat this substance. The digestibility of BSF larvae may be the strongest of any known insect larvae, however the food source must be sufficiently soft and damp for them to consume. 60% – 90% is the required water content in the diet of BSF larvae to help them easily absorb this food source.
A food source must be a rich source of protein and carbohydrates to help the larvae of the BSF thrive. Protein-rich food sources are usually leftover food, poultry manure, fish intestines from fish processing places … Carbohydrate-rich food sources include: soybean baits, sugar cane baits, molasses, pasta carcasses, sweet potatoes, residual bran …… However, be careful with food sources contaminated with pesticides or heavy metals, they will kill your fly farm if these contents are too high to your BSF larvae. Make sure your food source free of pesticides before you feed your BSF larvae to limit their risk of death. The required nutrients in suitable diet for BSF larvae are: high in protein and rich in crohydrate.
Suitable feed particle size
BSF larvae are quite small in size and they do not have a mouth to chew food. Therefore the size of the food particles of BSF larvae should be ensured to be very small, preferably in liquid or pasty form, so that they can easily access the food source as easily as possible. Proper feed particle size is very important, they will greatly affect the survival and development of fly larvae. The digestibility of BSF larvae may be the strongest of any insect larvae, however the food source must be small enough, soft and moist enough for them to be consumed. Because understanding the appropriate feed particle sizes for larvae will help the BSF larvae absorb more efficiently, helping you save a lot of money in finding food for your larvae farm. Appropriate grain size should be very small, as small as possible. The best food sources are liquid or pasty, so they are easily accessible. In addition, the food for fly larvae should not be too thick inside the feeding hole (about 4 to 5 cm is okay), so that they can eat all the food we provide to avoid waste.
Answer Questions About The Larvae
Question: I’m raising BSF larvae in my farm. Last week, I saw many of my BSF larvae dying. Can you share your own farming experience? What advice can you give me?
- A.If your BSF larvae are not moving but have formed a dark crust / pupal stage (pre-pupa), then it is their natural cycle and they are still alive but they don’t move anymore.
- B.If your BSF larvae are creamy colored but are not moving, they are likely dead or have gone into hibernation. These larvae go into hibernation when the ambient temperature drops below 15 celcius degrees in a low-light environment.
- C. However you do not have to worry too much. Although the fly larvae may not wiggle a lot or eat less, they are still alive. BSF larvae are the most powerful in the insect world, they will not die without enough food and only lose weight. The only temperatures that can kill BSF larvae are when they get too hot above 43 Celcius degrees, or when they get too cold below -6 Celsius degrees.
If the larvae are slowly dying, you can check for these 3 basic conditions:
- Density: if the larval density in the larval rearing tank is too high, it could lead to death because of high-temperature problem.
- Airflow: ensure good air circulation for larvae to breathe. Make sure no one is using high-dose pesticides around.
- Food Sources: Certain raw food sources like brewing cereals can create a fairly hot environment and contain some alcohol. Be mindful of the chemical and pesticide residues in some of the fruits and vegetables you feed the larvae. Excessive pesticide residues will kill your entire black soldier fly larvae farm.