Effectiveness of Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) Larvae at Decomposing Household Food Products


  • Gracelynn Morrow


Efforts to control and dispose of human food waste typically rely upon increasing public awareness of the problem and improving retail management practices to mitigate the amount of food thrown away. Food waste becomes an increasingly noticeable problem as the world population continues to grow, creating a host of environmental concerns.  A recently executed experiment examined the ability of Hermetia illucens (Family Stratiomyidae and Order Diptera) to decompose household food waste.  In previous studies, Hermetia illucens (Black Soldier Fly) has shown promising ability to decompose organic food waste. In our experiment, we intervened in the life cycles of Hermetia illucens larvae by feeding them five separate food groups over a two week timespan: grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy. By comparing the initial start weight of the larvae and the end weight after the larvae consumed their respective food groups, it was determined that Hermetia illucens larvae decompose fruit, meat, and vegetables most effectively. These findings suggest that Hermetia illucens larvae may be a viable alternative to decompose specific food groups in everyday household environments.

Keywords: food waste, black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, decomposition, composting, larvae


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