The black soldier fly is a local beneficial insect, commonly found in BC and in temperate climate areas around the world. They occur naturally in forests, parks, and backyards. At Enterra, we have used the lifecycle of this beneficial insect species to mimic its role as nature’s renewal experts. Our black soldier fly population originated from regulated sources in Canada and the US and there has been no genetic modification whatsoever.
In nature, adult black soldier flies lay their tiny eggs in dry places near larval food sources; the eggs hatch into larvae, which move into the environment to consume a variety of organic waste sources, like over-ripe fruits and vegetables as well as fish after they have spawned, up-cycling this waste to produce a grown larvae rich in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. The larvae provide an exceptional source of animal protein and fatty acids critical for the survival of birds, fish, reptiles and animals, after up-cycling complex food nutrients from waste organics. It is interesting to note that the black soldier fly larvae eliminate harmful bacteria, like E.coli and Salmonella.
The adult fly, which has a life span of only 7 days, does not sting or bite. In fact, the black soldier fly does not eat as an adult fly – for this reason the larvae are quite large, to provide all of the protein, fats and energy for the adult lifecycle. It is a natural source of food for birds, reptiles, fish and animals, providing an important source of nutrients and chitin in the ecosystem. Because the adult fly does not eat and does not lay its eggs in decomposing materials, it is not a pest or a vector for disease, which are issues with other fly species.
The larvae castings, similar to worm castings, are part of the natural fertilizer cycle in the wild. The castings provide an important source of natural nutrients and microbiology for plant growth, and exhibit natural defenses for many fungi and pests seen in farming and greenhouse operations. Enterra has engineered a system to farm black soldier fly larvae under controlled conditions. Our products – dried larvae and organic fertilizer – are Renewable Food for Animals and Plants, and provide a renewable source of nutrients for the human food chain, much like the naturally occurring cycle found in nature.
For further background: The Biopod (http://www.thebiopod.com/pages/pages/bsf.html) is a commercial backyard rearing system for attracting native Black Soldier Flies. These systems are used by small scale farmers throughout BC and Canada. In addition, Black Soldier Fly larvae (commonly referred to by their trade name Phoenix worms) are available for sale throughout Canada and are not restricted.