Black Soldier Fly

Hermetia illucens

black soldier fly

Black soldier fly (Marilyn Sallee,

Soldier fly

Black soldier fly (Vengolis, Wikimedia Commons)

soldier fly larvae

Soldier fly larvae (Krokofant, Wikimedia Commons)


  • large; dark-colored
  • 2 white patches just behind wings
  • flattened appearance
  • larvae and pupae: dark brown and flattened; 1 inch long

Nesting Habits

  • lay eggs in garbage and other decaying organic material; moisture; compost piles; dumpsters
  • larvae feed in garbage and other decaying organic material
  • pupate outside of the food source


  • moist decaying organic material


  • pupae often found in large numbers around dumpsters
  • rarely breed indoors; adults usually found in low numbers 
  • adult presence indoors indicates breeding areas near doors/windows

IPM Recommendations

  • Regularly inspect and clean dumpsters and surrounding areas. 
  • Seal cracks around doors and windows. 
  • Install properly-fitting screens in all windows. 
  • Install weather stripping around all edges of doorways.
  • Keep doors and windows closed or open with properly fitted screens.
  • Use fly light traps.

Additional Resources

IPM for Flies: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)