Raising Black Soldier Flies in Cold Regions

This question comes from Mike (if you are out there, Mike – your email address didn’t work for me):

Your site is very informative. I started 2 indoor worm bins about 2
months ago. Hope they’ll make it; your You Tube design.
What caught my interest was the Black Soldier Fly larvae and The
They do show up in worm bins but is it possible to cultivate them for
fish food and feed in Northern Ontario?

Hi Mike – nice to see a msg from a fellow Ontarian (Ontarioan?! I don’t know! haha)!
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) soldier flies are primarily found in warmer zones – I don’t even see any down here in the south (Waterloo region). You MIGHT be able to cultivate them indoors but I suspect this would be a little complicated since the adults would presumably need to be provided with ideal mating conditions.

Who knows though – if you had a heated building – perhaps with some potted shrubs – and you buy some of the larvae, maybe you can get them to reach adulthood and breed. I think something like mealworms (or of course, Red Worms) would probably be a lot easier, but it all depends on how badly you want them! πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, this is not my area of expertise, but perhaps one of our resident BSFL experts will see this and chime in with their thoughts!

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  1. billy bob where are you located?

    I think the adults flies are content to use walls instead of plants given the choice.

    Do you see the prepupal larvae crawling out of the worm bin to pupate? I has a few in my indoor worm bin and they seemed to pupate in the bin with no problems.

    • billy bob
    • May 26, 2013

    I’m along the interstate between Boise Idaho and Oregon.
    I would prefer the bsf stay out of the worms, only because they make them so hot, but it seems impossible so far to restrict them. Every time I dig in the worms I come accross larva of all sizes. They pupate quite happily in there. Currently the room is possessed by several thousand flys. Has got to be lots coming from the worm bins, as I haven’t had that many crawling off the bsf bins. The tilapia sure are eating them up, though they haven’t yet gotten to the flies.

    • Dawn Richardson
    • August 6, 2021

    This project by UNC students has a lot of great info about farming BSFL (though they don’t seem overly optimistic about mating them in captivity). Most notably it has an extremely detailed formula for calculating space and waste needed for chicken feed operations, and a really simple and affordable design for a DIY self-harvesting system.

    • Bentley
    • September 1, 2021

    Hi Dawn – that sounds interesting, but did you forget to provide a link for the project you were referring to? Thanks

    • Dawn Richardson
    • September 1, 2021

    Oops! I did! Thanks for catching that! Here it is:


    • Bentley
    • September 2, 2021

    Thanks, Dawn!

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