Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Compost Bin

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From: FB
Date: Fri, Dec 8, 2023 at 7:20 PM
Subject: Bug ID Request

Hello, hopefully you are the right contact for figuring out what bug this is.

I’m pretty sure it’s some type of grub or beetle larvae, but I would love to know because in all honesty I want it gone ASAP.

The location of the bug is in North America, the USA, and northern California, near Sacramento. It is in a fairly moist environment as it is coming out of our rotating compost bin.

It is pretty small, maybe one and a half inches long. I believe it has been reproducing extremely quickly based on the fact that multiple have been coming out of the compost bin. I believe they are soft though I have refrained from touching them. Recently it has also rained, and in the grooves of the compost bin water has pooled. Inside the water somehow these bugs found their way in and are sitting in the water. I believe they are still alive, though I previously thought them to be dead as they have moved recently upon closer inspection. The color varies from light brown to cream colors, though most of them take on the light brown color.

I have attached pictures below. It would be greatly appreciated if you got back to me ASAP.

Thank you again.


Dear FB,

Thanks so much for doing your part to help the planet by using a compost bin. We as a species cannot keep taking from the earth without giving back, and putting organic, vegetable scraps back into the ground helps to feed the earth, the critters in the garden and the planet.

You have Black Soldier Fly larvae, Hermetia illucens, and if you are concerned that you have too many, you may try selling them to Fluker’s Family Farms (insert link: because there is a demand for Black Soldier Fly larvae as food for exotic pets.

According to Wikipedia (  “Since the late 20th century, H. illucens has increasingly been gaining attention because of its usefulness for recycling organic waste and generating animal feed.”

Your healthy population of Black Soldier Fly larvae indicates that your compost bin is operating correctly.  You do not have a problem.  Rather, you are learning to understand how the decomposition process is critical to sustaining life on our fragile planet.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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