I started with one bucket, which given how much mango and banana we've processed the last couple of weeks, quickly became 3. On Monday I went to the recycling center and came home with a nice cracked trash can which quickly became the home to the contents of all 3 buckets. There were so many grubs. So many. The bottoms of the buckets had became anaerobic - completely 'preserved' mango seeds and peels under a layer of black goo. Everything got shaken and stirred up going into the bin, so I think they'll be able to get to it. I'm so impressed by how quickly and how efficiently these soldiers polish everything off. The castings look great, almost ready for the garden.
The bin is full, and right now I'm not sure how much more I can feed. I've read that 100 pounds of scraps become 20 pounds of grubs and 5 pounds of compost/castings. I've certainly got a lot more than 5 lbs, and I'm quite sure I haven't put a full 100 pounds in there yet. So, what do I do? Wait for them to go through it again? It's true that I certainly overfed in the beginning - we just had so much fruit - so I'm thinking that the stuff in there can still be worked over.
I'm also wondering if I should make the bin wetter to ensure I don't have anyone pupating inside. Right now I'm not harvesting, but rather working on increasing the fly population (sounds odd doesn't it?), but it's something that will be happening fairly soon and I want everything operating smoothly.
So much fun. And I used to abhor maggots. Actually I still do somewhat, but now it's a morbid fascination. You can hear them eat, and watch the surface move with them. I sat fascinated on Saturday watching them devour a tomato. They had eaten everything but the very outermost skin - it was almost transparent and you could see their bodies through it. Yet it still looked like a tomato. Real horror show - one might say.
This is the Gardener Soldier Fly, much shorter - about ½ the length and less wide. Grubs are still as voracious though, and seem to mature earlier too.
And this is the Black Soldier Fly, this one is resting in the kitchen just by the chocolate making.