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Humanure composting with BSF larvae . . . some tips/tricks.

 
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There is quite a bit I could say on this subject, but let me mention a few things I have discovered, some of which I have not seen mentioned or written about elsewhere. Some of this would apply to raising BSF for any reason.

1.  Cardboard is not only a place/option for females to lay eggs, it is also great for absorbing excess moisture, which can be a problem. Once (plain) cardboard becomes moistened by sugars, protein, and or fats, they (BSF larva) will totally process it too.
2.  The best way to start a new system in a specific location (IMO), is by getting some to lay eggs and hatch out young larvae in another location where it won't be an issue if material sits for a minute (days or weeks) before you start getting eggs and larvae.  In other words, I would not start a system as part of my compost toilet  by making deposits in it and hoping females come to lay eggs.  I would attract females to lay eggs on manure and fruit and veggie scraps away from the house, and then move a bunch of larvae into the desired location so your system begins running right out of the gate.
3.When composting humanure with BSF I absolutely add kitchen produce scraps to that as well.  That will further mask odors, and attract more females to lay eggs.
4. I would design and construct my composting toilet with a BSF system as part of it.  However, if you prefer not to, or have reasons that it is not possible, you can poop into a five gallon bucket half filled with dry yard waste, and lay a piece of paper or cardboard down to poop on that. Then fold it over, and carry it to your BSF system, if you prefer to have it away from the house.
5. I would keep the composting toilet well sealed from the room it sits in, except when in use.
6. I would incorporate some kind of small simple "chimney" to help ventilate the toilet.
7. All you need is a small hole that connects the toilet to the outdoors to allow females access to come in and lay eggs. Of course you could simply get eggs laid somewhere else away from the house (no system access for females to lay eggs)), and periodically add more small larvae to your system.
8.You do have to harvest and/or account for pupation, and there are several ways that this can be addressed.
9. Yes, there absolutely are ways to design a practical working BSF system that takes into account almost all logistical challenges you might face.
10. I always recommend that you source separate  urine from poop.  Urinating into any BSF system adds problems/challenges that may not be overcome.
 
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Once an adult BSF comes to said microbe/food source and and they trapped inside or do they just leave and spend the microbes?
If they leave and spread the microbes is this seen as a problem?
Once the eggs hatch are they trapped inside or is that they are then free to fly out and spread said microbes, and if they spread said microbes is this seen as a problem?
If if isn't  seen as a problem what are the exact parameters that need to exist for it not to be seen as a problem?
Maybe they are trapped in the system how do you go about trapping them in it?

I have seen plenty of pit latrine outhouse with lots of flies buzzing and coming and going, and people didn't seem to fall over and die, but it is frown upon in more densely populated areas.
 
Ken Carman
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S Bengi wrote:Once an adult BSF comes to said microbe/food source and and they trapped inside or do they just leave and spend the microbes?
If they leave and spread the microbes is this seen as a problem?
Once the eggs hatch are they trapped inside or is that they are then free to fly out and spread said microbes, and if they spread said microbes is this seen as a problem?
If if isn't  seen as a problem what are the exact parameters that need to exist for it not to be seen as a problem?
Maybe they are trapped in the system how do you go about trapping them in it?

I have seen plenty of pit latrine outhouse with lots of flies buzzing and coming and going, and people didn't seem to fall over and die, but it is frown upon in more densely populated areas.




Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetia_illucens     "The larvae and adults are considered neither pests nor vectors. Instead, black soldier fly larvae play a role similar to that of redworms as essential decomposers in breaking down organic substrates and returning nutrients to the soil. The larvae have voracious appetites and can be used for composting household food scraps and agricultural waste products."

Your system would have to be connected to/have access to the outdoors.  Much like when you see a bee hive (or ant farm) inside a museum or school, where the bees (or ants) are free to interact with the outdoors.  Keeping any flies or larvae from entering your living space could be accomplished similar to how mailboxes accept letters but prevent letters from being taken.
No system is perfect. Every option (city sewer, septic system, several diverse composting methods) for how human waste is handled has its pluses and minuses.  Each person decides what option works best for them and their family in their own unique situation.
I would create my BSF system on an outside wall, and make an opening in the wall such that you defecate while sitting on a seat indoors, but most of the composting activity is outdoors . . . your total system is half inside and half outside.  
BSF larvae are well known for keeping other types of disease spreading flies from being active on your waste, including eating the eggs of other flies should any get laid.  You have to build up an active healthy system to get to that place.
BSF are very common and very popular around the world so there is a ton of information available about raising them.  I tried to offer some tips from my own ten years experience raising them, that I had not seen others writing about.
 
pollinator
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Question (no wrong answer)

Why BSF instead of red wigglers or std compost?

I’m curious, I’m about to build a new system and thought I had settled on a plan but never thought about bsf and wonder if I should have.
 
Ken Carman
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R Scott wrote:Question (no wrong answer)

Why BSF instead of red wigglers or std compost?

I’m curious, I’m about to build a new system and thought I had settled on a plan but never thought about bsf and wonder if I should have.



Good question, and happy to provide my version of the answer:
With BSF you get a high protein feed stock (for fish, chickens, etc.) but you get very little left over material such as you would with standard composting or red wigglers. If your primary goal is to harvest a garden ready by-product, they are not the answer.  If your primary goal is to eliminate waste and/or generate a self harvesting high protein feed for chickens, fish, and more, then they would be the best choice by far.
The advantage with BSF is that they will compost most of what they tell you not to put into your compost or worm bins (meat, dairy, etc.) and are far more adept at quickly converting fecal matter from any source.
 
R Scott
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Thank you. That is a profoundly clear answer.

I have more pondering to do…
 
Ken Carman
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R Scott wrote:Thank you. That is a profoundly clear answer.

I have more pondering to do…



Thank you, and don't forget there is no code, law, or regulation that says you can only incorporate one system at a time  . . . go for all three, if that works best for meeting all of your needs!
 
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