Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gross and Cool - Soldier Flies

Yesterday we were walking around Marion Street Intergenerational Garden, checking on plants and compost, and I was quite revolted to see about 400 of these things furiously crawling up the insides of our compost cans. Luckily, Zachary from Clagett Farm was on hand to drop some knowledge on me - these are soldier fly larvae! And believe it or not, they are not as bad as they look. According to some research, soldier flies are big helpers in the compost bin, and they can withstand the heat a bit better than earthworms (who we still want to hang around). This site I found, Black Soldier Fly Blog, is dedicated to promoting soldier fly composting. As a part-time entomology buff, I was happy to get to know these hard working little buggers and I hope they will continue being our neighbors at Marion Street.

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