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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:29 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Rowlett TX
I generally keep two batches of compost running - I have one of those massive garbage cans the city uses with about 200 1/3" holes drilled in it for ventilation - I use that as my storage area for stuff when my big pile is nearly finished and i don't want to add new stuff to it.

So here is the question....

Twice now I have gotten large larval/pupal critters living in the bin. These things are bigger than fly maggots, about 1/3-1/2", grayish green, pupal, not larval. Have noticed some wasplike things flyin around so this is a possibility. The other day i tossed a little cornmeal and some kitchen scraps on the top layer. Today there were maybe 50 of these things in a writhing mass that used to be an apple core.

I don't MIND this as my thinking is that whatever they are, they are breaking stuff down, eating and pooping and if they get covered with a bunch of grass they are cokking and adding nitrogen - of course then they start trying to get out the holes. These things are kinda gross so hopefully my fiance never opens the lid by accident and meets them.


Any idea what the heck this is???? North Texas, hate sunlight and seem to like hot/wet conditions, fruit and cornmeal??? On the grossness scale give them about an 8 - not the nauseating nature of maggots but significantly less than charming. Segmented, pupal appearance.... Thoughts???????


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:29 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Rowlett TX
Ok, whatever they are they like molasses.... to get the bin cooking I had mixed a few cups of molasses with some cardboard, grass clippings etc and tossed it on top with a little cornmeal to get things nice and rotten... well whatever these critters are when i stirred things up this morning there were hundreds of them in the top layer - I'm guessing the level went down in there 10" and the creepy crawlies had completely turned the top 6-10" into dirt and grubs. Major gross but some serious composting machines. What the heck are they?????


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 Post subject: Bugs in compost
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:22 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
Your descriptions of the look and behavior sounds like classic soldier fly larvae. Lucky you! These are good guys. Don't worry about them. The wasplike things are the adult flies. They don't bite or sting and the larvae are great at composting. They are doing good things. Leave them to do that. :D 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:29 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Rowlett TX
Well heck, if KK says they are cool then I'm gonna start naming the little buggers and go buy them some cornmeal! At this rate my 'precomposting' bin is blowing away my carefully planned and thought out pile. :roll:

If ya want a few hundred let me know :-)


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 Post subject: Larvae
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
FYI - They make great fishing bait! :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 10:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:29 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Rowlett TX
Hmmm... wonder what a couple hundred brim would do to my compost pile? If only I wasn't swamped with work to do :lol:


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 Post subject: Winter Flies?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 8:43 pm
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Location: ,
Will the little guys live through the winter, or should I wait until spring to start this project? No idea if the heat from their activity is enough to keep them alive, or not. Anyone have any comments? I'd love to get a soldier fly sweatshop going! :D

I got a great deal on CGM, Chuck. If these guys can weather the winter here in N. Texas, I'd be happy to "donate" a bag or two of CGM to the parent colony just to see these little buggers in action! :wink:

Tom


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 Post subject: maggots in compost pile
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Hershey, PA
from what I remember from my parents' compost pile back in the great land of Texas, they do die in the winter. But as you know, winters are pretty short-lived down there. They will come back in the summertime.

BTW, they LOVE corncobs and anything green. I sent my parents some corn from PA this year (from a place that doesn't use pesticides) and my parents said those "bugs" (as they call them) ate them so fast they disappeared in no time.

If you have what they want, they will come back.

:P Texan stranded in Yankeeland (sweet Yankeeland..but Yankeeland nonetheless)


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