Maggot infestation in my worm farm! How can I get rid of them?
(Cape Town and Radevormwald)
Black soldier fly maggots
Hi Stephan - I bought some worms from you at the end of last year.
I am having a problem with maggot infestations in the worm farm resulting
in the worms dying and the vege matter turning into a revolting rotting
I only put vege matter and maybe the odd stale bread slice in the unit
I scrubbed the unit twice since the previous infestation and left it in the
sun for a couple of days to try get rid of any eggs present still no luck
the maggots came back after about 2/3 weeks with the new batch of worms
any ideas on how to get rid of this ?
I am sorry to hear about your problem. Although you didn't send a picture of the maggots in your worm farm I am pretty sure that you are having in infestation of Black soldier fly maggots in your worm farm.
Although they are actually great to recycle kitchen scraps and other organic waste as well they tend to take over a worm farm and the worms usually flee to the lower parts of their worm bin and sooner or later the worms either die or leave the bin and the whole worm farm turns into a smelly sludge.
The black soldier flies are attracted by decomposing fruit and vegetables that are easy accessible.
There are a few precautions you can take to prevent the soldier flies from laying their eggs into your worm farm.
- Cover the surface of your worm bin with a thick soaked newspaper and a plastic sheet or bag. Make sure the newspaper is covering all the worm food and than cover the newspaper with the plastic bag. The newspaper acts as a natural barrier against flies and solder flies, allows the worms which dislike light to feed right on top of their food layer and the plastic sheet acts as an additional protection against unwanted invaders and keeps the bedding of the worm farm longer moist.
To save your worms and your worm farm once a worm bin is infested with solder fly maggots do the following.
- Remove all the maggots you can see from the worm farm and place them in a bucket or any small container without a lid. It is usually quite easy to spot the maggots as most of them are feeding frantically together on the surface of the worm farm. You can than either add them to a compost heap, feed them to fish or chickens or leave them in the container for some time on a bright sunny day.
When the maggots have died you can feed them to the worms.
We have many worm farms on our premises but hardly ever have problems with the BSF maggots.
I trust this will help. All the best and happy worming
Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"