Manna Insect

BSF larvae

Can parasites be a threat to BSF operations?

To put it sort, yes, there are parasites that may threaten your Black Soldier Fly operations, especially if the growing takes places outdoors. This topic is not often talked about, it’s rare, and there is hardly no actual research on the topic, but here’s one.

BSF rearing can attract pathogens and parasites, often due to the high temperature and moisture requirements, especially when reared outdoors, in old chicken/poultry facilities, or in continuous production models. This one reason, why Manna Insect’s closed rearing containers, that run one batch at a time and can be easily sanitized between batches, are a great way to grow BSF – with closed environment and batch model we avoid any pests entering the process.

The below linked research report is the first detailed documentation of a case of an ectoparasite in a BSF colony. The Poultry Red Mite (in Finnish kanapunkki) is an invasive predator of the larvae and pre-pupae BSF, able to quickly deteriorate the production and even kill the larvae.

parasites in BSF operations

The BSF colony used in this experiment was initiated from wild larvae collected from New Zealand. BTW, the risk of the presence of red mites in the colony may also extend to the transfer of viruses to the larvae as well as to the farmer!

How to avoid or get rid of Poultry Red Mites in BSF production?

– Inert substrates such as silica, kaolin, and DE are used to control red mites in poultry houses, thus using these to dusting the surfaces and entrances of your BSF production unit are a good method to avoid the Mites.

– The Mites don’t survive temperatures below -20°C or higher than +55°C, thus heating the container is definitely a good way to get rid of them.

– Pesticides: Spinosad, also known as Elector, is among the most suitable. Elector has been approved to be used in hen houses in several EU countries. The application must be in vacant premises or limited to walls where red mites often rest and away from the BSF colony.

– Plant-based pesticides, such as garlic-based acaricide, neem-based products, or adding essential oils such as thyme, burdock, and tansy infusion to the substrate.

– Lighting: Intermittent lighting reduces the presence of red mites, they mostly feed in the dark, and thus lighting is an easy way to keep them at bay.

– Design of premises and hygiene

From research “Poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) poses a risk in the rearing of black soldier fly” at

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