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BSF as Feeder Insects: Benefits, Care, and Storage Tips

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), an insect species native to the Americas. These larvae have gained popularity as feeder insects in recent years due to their numerous benefits and suitability for a wide range of pets, including reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Importance of BSFL in pet diets

BSFL are packed with essential nutrients, making them an excellent addition to pet diets. They provide a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional feeder insects, and their versatility allows them to be used for various pets.

This blog will explore the benefits of BSFL as feeder insects, their nutritional value, and their role in pet diets. We will also discuss how to care for and store live BSFL, as well as tips for feeding them to your pets.

Benefits of BSFL as feeder insects

Promeal Live BSF Larve
Live BSF Larve

Nutritional value

BSFL are nutritionally dense, containing high levels of protein, calcium, and healthy fats. Their high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio makes them particularly beneficial for reptiles and amphibians, as it helps support bone growth and overall health. Moreover, BSFL are a good source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, providing a well-rounded diet for your pets.

Versatility in pet diets

Due to their nutritional profile, BSFL are suitable for a wide range of pets, including reptiles like bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons, amphibians such as frogs and salamanders, and even birds like chickens and quails. They can be fed live or dried, making them a flexible option for various pet owners and their pets' preferences.

Eco-friendly and sustainable source of nutrition

BSFL are a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option compared to traditional feeder insects. They require less space, water, and resources to produce, and they can be grown using organic waste, contributing to a circular economy. Additionally, Black Soldier Flies do not transmit diseases to humans, reducing the risk of contamination.

By incorporating BSFL into your pet's diet, you can provide them with a nutritious, versatile, and eco-friendly source of nutrition. In the following sections, we will discuss how to care for and store live BSFL, as well as tips for feeding them to your pets.

Life cycle of Black Soldier Fly

life cycle of the Black Soldier Fly
life cycle of the Black Soldier Fly

Overview of the Black Soldier Fly life cycle

The life cycle of the Black Soldier Fly consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female Black Soldier Flies lay their eggs in decomposing organic matter, where the larvae then hatch and begin consuming the waste material. The larvae stage lasts for approximately 2-4 weeks, after which they pupate and transform into adult flies. The adult flies live for 5-8 days, during which they mate and lay eggs to start the cycle again.

How the life cycle impacts their use as feeder insects

The larval stage of the Black Soldier Fly life cycle is the most suitable for use as feeder insects. At this stage, they are packed with nutrients, making them a nutritious food source for pets. As the larvae grow, they become less suitable for feeding, and once they pupate, they are no longer considered suitable feeder insects. Therefore, it's crucial to use the larvae at the appropriate stage to maximize their benefits as feeder insects.

How to care for live BSFL

Housing requirements

To house live BSFL, you will need a well-ventilated container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent escape. The container should have a layer of substrate, such as coconut coir or bran, for the larvae to burrow in and feed on. Make sure to clean the container and replace the substrate regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent the buildup of waste.

 A mix of fruits, vegetables, and grains for gut-loading BSFLarve
A mix of fruits, vegetables, and grains for gut-loading BSFLarve

Feeding and gut-loading

To gut-load your BSFL, provide them with a mix of organic matter, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. This process ensures that the larvae are loaded with essential nutrients, which will be passed on to your pet when consumed. Gut-loading should be done 24-48 hours before feeding the larvae to your pet.

Maintaining proper temperature and humidity

BSFL thrive in temperatures between 75-95°F (24-35°C) and moderate humidity levels (50-70%). If the temperature or humidity is too low, the larvae may become dormant or die. On the other hand, excessive humidity can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. To maintain the ideal conditions, use a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the container, and adjust accordingly.

By understanding the life cycle of Black Soldier Flies and properly caring for live BSFL, you can ensure their optimal nutritional value and maintain their health, providing the best possible food source for your pets.

Tips for storing BSFL

Short-term storage

For short-term storage of BSFL, keep them in a well-ventilated container with a secure lid at room temperature (75-95°F or 24-35°C). Ensure the container has a layer of substrate for the larvae to burrow and feed. Do not overcrowd the container, as this can lead to stress and reduced health in the larvae.

Long-term storage

If you need to store BSFL for an extended period, you can refrigerate them at temperatures between 50-60°F (10-15°C). This slows down their metabolism, making them less active and prolonging their storage life. Be sure to keep them in a well-ventilated container with substrate, and check on them regularly to ensure they remain healthy and free of mold or other contaminants.

Ensuring BSFL health and vitality

To ensure the health and vitality of your stored BSFL, clean the container and replace the substrate as needed. Provide fresh organic matter for gut-loading at least once a week. Regularly monitor temperature and humidity levels to maintain the ideal conditions for your larvae.

Feeding BSFL to your pets

Properly introducing BSFL to your pet's diet

Introduce BSFL gradually to your pet's diet, starting with a small amount mixed with their usual food. Gradually increase the quantity of BSFL over time as your pet becomes accustomed to the new food source. This will help prevent digestive issues and allow your pet to adjust to the change in diet.

Dusting BSFL with supplements

Dusting BSFL with calcium or other vitamin supplements can enhance their nutritional value. Place the larvae in a plastic bag or container with the supplement powder, and gently shake to coat the larvae evenly. Feed the dusted BSFL to your pet immediately for the best results.

Tips for feeding live BSFL

When feeding live BSFL to your pets, use feeding tongs or a similar tool to avoid direct contact with the larvae. This will help prevent accidental bites and ensure a safe feeding experience for both you and your pet. Be sure to remove any uneaten BSFL from your pet's enclosure to maintain cleanliness and prevent any potential issues with escaped larvae.

By following these storage and feeding tips, you can provide a nutritious and sustainable food source for your pet while ensuring the health and vitality of your BSFL.

Promeal's BSFL products and commitment to quality

Promeal Live BSf Larve
Promeal Live BSf Larve


Promeal offers high-quality live BSFL, which are bred and raised under strict quality control measures to ensure the healthiest and most nutritious feeder insects for your pets. Our larvae are fed a diet of organic and sustainable materials, guaranteeing a premium food source for your pet.

Dried BSF Larve
Dried BSF Larve

In addition to live BSFL, Promeal also offers dried BSFL as a convenient and long-lasting alternative. Dried BSFL retain much of their nutritional value and can be easily stored without the need for special care or maintenance. They make an excellent addition to a pet's diet or as a treat for your beloved animals.

Supplementary products for BSFL care and nutrition

To support the proper care and feeding of BSFL, Promeal offers a range of supplementary products, such as substrates, supplements, and feeding tools. These products are designed to make the care and feeding process simple and efficient, ensuring your pet receives the best possible nutrition from our BSFL.

Recap of the benefits of BSFL as feeder insects

In conclusion, Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are a highly nutritious, versatile, and eco-friendly option for your pet's diet. They offer an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, making them a beneficial addition to your pet's feeding routine.

Encouragement to consider BSFL as a nutritious and eco-friendly option for your pet's diet

By choosing BSFL as a feeder insect, you are not only providing a great source of nutrition for your pet but also contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food source. We encourage you to consider incorporating BSFL into your pet's diet and experience the benefits firsthand.

Explore Promeal's range of BSFL products

Discover the variety of BSFL products offered by Promeal, including live and dried larvae, as well as our supplementary care and feeding items. Browse our selection to find the perfect products to meet your pet's nutritional needs.

Ready to give BSFL a try? Visit Promeal's shop page to purchase high-quality BSFL products and start providing your pet with the nutritious and eco-friendly food source they deserve.


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