The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Prompting a black-soldier-fly crawloff

Lots of black soldier flies

One of my favorite features of our black-soldier-fly bin is the clear plastic, which lets me see exactly what's going on inside.  While this might not be quite as cool as an observation hive (grimy grubs versus beautiful bees), the transparency does make it easy to notice how many larvae are working inside.  And, this week, the feature helped me realize that a bunch of black pupae were congregating in the bottom of the bin.

Escaping pupaeThe instructions tell you to flood the bin with water once a week to prevent this exact problem...but I forgot.  Luckily, it wasn't too late to harvest all of those yummy pupae.  A couple of hours after flooding, I dropped by the bin and saw that there were pupae filling the ant moat (which I'd luckily forgotten to fill with water as well) since they'd all tried to crawl out so quickly that there was a traffic jam in the entrance ramp to the collection bin.

Mark helped me collect all of the escaped pupae, and we ended up with about three pints worth!  In fact, based on how much the contents of the bin dropped in height after the crawl-off, I suspect we might have lost another pint of pupae before I noticed the great escape.  Luckily, "lost" pupae will just turn into lots of adults to repopulate the bin, so it's all good.

The moral of the story?  If you don't keep a close eye on your bin and need to do an emergency flooding, stand by to prevent escapes!

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.