Black Soldier Fly: Where do they live?
Scientists across the world are still working to answer this question more specifically, but we believe these incredible insects originated somewhere between the Central Americas and the southern parts of the United States.
Professor Christine Picard at the Indiana University Purdue and Dr. Christoph Sandrock of Switzerland are teaming up hoping to use population genetic research to more accurately determine where the black soldier fly came from.
While we have not pinpointed the exact origin of the BSF yet, we do know where these little bugs are typically found. The simple answer is anywhere hot! But it’s a little more complicated than that.
Black soldier flies have migrated around the globe. They have naturalized in most countries or areas that fall in the temperate and tropical regions of the world.
What exactly does that mean to those of us who aren’t geographically inclined? Basically, you can’t find a black soldier fly in the North or South Pole!
While high humidity (>60%) is preferred, it is not the most important factor for sustaining a colony. Really the only criteria for the BSF to establish is temperatures above 20°C (66°F) for more than a season or two.
Then how did black soldier flies end up all over the world? Well, most flies moved with us, or more specifically, in or on what we brought with us.
Soldier flies are naturally found in compost heaps and manure. During the World War II era and before, people often moved things like fertilizer (the product of composting) without realizing it was often housing other organisms. While this is speculation, we hope to better understand how BSF have migrated throughout the world in the near future.
Our joint black soldier fly venture recently earned LSU the APPA’s 2020 Sustainability Innovation Award.