“What is this worm?” is all this reader asks in her submission. The creature she asks about is black in color, with a segmented body, and a round, pointy tip at one end of its body.
Even without context, we can tell that this is a black soldier fly larva. Commonly referred to simply as BSFL, the black soldier fly larva is the immature form of the black soldier fly. This fly is often mistaken for a wasp, but does not sting and is not harmful to humans. In addition to this, the black soldier fly, as well as its larvae, are actually considered beneficial to the environment and are not pests. The main food source for BSFL is manure, and it is because of the rate at which they eat and decompose this manure that they are considered environmentally beneficial.
According to the Galveston County Master Garderns’ page on BSFL, not only do they eat manure before it starts decomposing, which “immediately” gets rid of any of the odors it would produce, but the amount of waste they themselves leave behind is “a fraction of the original weight and volume” of the waste they consume.
All in all, BSFL are not harmful to humans. In fact, one can even safely eat them. According to Crickster’s page on the reasons one should consume black soldier flies, farming BSFL for human consumption would be a more sustainable and ethical alternative to other forms of ‘meat farming’, such as cattle farming.
With all of that in mind, if there is enough organic matter scattered throughout one’s home, BSFL infestations can occur. Our reader should make sure that any organic debris in her home is cleaned up, including crumbs that she might miss between couch cushions, inside cupboards or behind furniture. Now, if it is not the case that our reader’s home is littered with organic waste, then it is more likely that this one larva made it into her home by mistake, and in any case we urge her to move the critter outside. If it was a one-off occurrence, then this will suffice in dealing with the issue.
In conclusion, the “worm” our reader found is actually a black soldier fly larva. These larvae are completely harmless, and, in fact, one of nature’s best friends. For that reason, we urge our reader to move the larva outside without causing it harm. We hope this answered our reader’s question to a satisfactory degree, and we wish her the best!
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