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I have a ventilated outdoor compost bin, primarily for food scraps. Until recently, it was a diverse ecosystem that produced good compost. About a month ago, it turned into a mono-culture of these white invertebrates.

These bugs are ruthlessly efficient, processing anything I toss in in about 2 days (except for eggshells, as pictured). But instead of producing nice loamy compost, they produce stinky, sludgy sewage.

What are these things? What would have caused them to take over? How can I return to an effective composting situation?

2 Answers 2


It appears you may have black soldier fly helping your pile. They are a composting insect. They actually are helping consume some nasty stuff growing in there. I would do some internet sleuthing and take more pics to compare. If they have taken over, they can be used to feed animals like chickens. You could sell them to a chicken farm, or if your lucky enough to have your own hens, definitely feed them. Their bodies are packed with protein. So they are very healthy. I’m not an expert on them by any means. But I’m pretty sure that’s all accurate. Check out the rates at which they can consume.

  • 2
    can you add more details? Maybe a link to a reference? Photos?
    – kevinskio
    Nov 28, 2021 at 13:33

Yes, those are black soldier flies. They may act and look wasp-like yet I guess they don't sting and are friendlies.

To balance out your compost, you might want to add some carbon, brown leaves and such.

Try to get to a 30:1 ration of carbon to nitrogen.


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