Hermetia illucens, the black soldier fly, is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae. The larvae and adults are considered neither pests nor vectors, instead, black soldier fly larvae play a similar role to that of redworms as essential decomposers in breaking down organic substrates and returning nutrients to the soil. Black soldier fly larvae are an excellent source of protein for aqua culture, animal feed. The larvae have voracious appetites and can be used for composting household food scraps, black soldier fly eggs hatch in approximately four days and are typically deposited in crevices or on surfaces above or adjacent to decaying matter such as manure or compost. The larvae range in size from 1⁄8–3⁄4 inch, although they can be stored at room temperature for several weeks, their longest shelf life is achieved at 50–60 °F. The adult fly, which measures about 16 mm, has a span of 5 to 8 days. It is a mimic, very close in size, color, the adult soldier fly has no functioning mouthparts, it spends its time searching for mates and reproducing. Black soldier fly larvae are used to compost waste or convert the waste into animal feed, the harvested pupae and prepupae are eaten by poultry, fish, pigs, turtles, even dogs. The wastes include fresh manure, food wastes of both animal and vegetable origin, fly larvae are among the most efficient animals at converting feed into biomass. Aside from the production, fly larvae also produce another valuable resource called frass. This prepupal migration instinct is used by grub composting bins to self-harvest the mature larvae and these containers have ramps or holes on the sides to allow the prepupae to climb out of the composter and drop into a collection area. Larvae are beneficial in the ways, They prevent houseflies and blowflies from laying eggs in the material inhabited by black soldier fly larvae. They are usually not a pest and they are not attracted to human habitation or foods. As a detritivore and coprovore, the females are attracted to rotting food or manure. Black soldier flies do not fly around as much as houseflies and they are very easy to catch and relocate when they get inside a house, as they do not avoid being picked up, they are sanitary, and they neither bite nor sting. Their only defense seems to be hiding, significant reductions of E. coli 0157, H7 and Salmonella enterica were measured in hen manure. They quickly reclaim would-be pollutants, Nine stinky organic chemicals were reduced or eliminated from manure in 24 hours. They quickly reduce the volume and weight of waste, The larval colony breaks apart its food, churns it
Black soldier fly depositing eggs in cardboard
Black soldier fly inflating its wings during the first 15 minutes after emergence from pupation.