Although one may believe that all insects are bad and must be removed, many of these insects are vital to the ecosystems. For example, no one likes flies. They are pesky little pests that annoy everyone. Though we try our best to drive them out of our homes, the fact remains that they are super important to any ecosystem. Flies pollinate, eat other insects, and recycle! However, they do not belong in your house.
Although there are many great examples of insects with similar roles, like ants and bees, one insect that many people do not realize is vital to the environment is the black soldier fly:
About the Black Soldier Fly
Black soldier flies are generally found in the tropical and subtropical western hemispheres and in Australia. They typically love to breed in areas where manure is accessible, such as farms and outdoor toilets. They can also be found breeding in compost, as these substances act as food sources for the larva.
That said, when the fly is fully grown, it no longer feeds on waste. They do not have mouthparts either, so they do not bite. As such, they are not known to transmit any type of disease. Their presence drives off other more annoying houseflies as well.
Adults are approximately just under an inch long. As the name implies, they are black with their wings held over their backs. Females will have a reddish hue to their abdomen, while males are more brownish. It also has a waist that resembles that of a wasp and is one of the reasons many people who are unaware of such an insect automatically think it is similar to a wasp and assume it is dangerous. The antennae are also long and project straight forward from the head.
How Black Soldier Flies Benefit the Environment
One of the biggest benefits this insect has for the environment is its ability to manage manure. Manure is known to cause environmental damage, especially in large amounts. It is also known to cause diseases, and in farms, the odor can be quite revolting, especially on hot summer days.
Because the black soldier fly larvae eat manure—and a lot of it—they can consume a large amount of waste before the manure has a chance to start decomposing. This can reduce the odor. In addition, the larvae themselves leave little behind in comparison to what they ate. In fact, they turn the majority of what they eat into protein and fat. This is a massive benefit for farmers because they can use manure to feed these larvae to become feed for fish and livestock.
The black soldier fly, especially its larval form, has benefits. Regardless, these harmless flies are good for the environment. These insects can be essential for anyone running a farm. Keeping these insects around and protecting them are excellent ideas. They drive away other annoying flies while keeping manure in check—all the benefits you want when caring for your livestock, fish, birds, and more.
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