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Picture of Fly Farm Box. Maggot Box.
Building a small scale fly farm to process food and garden waste into high quality food for fish, lizzards and chickens. The maggots also make great bait for fishing.

You Will Need..

Large bucket with lid.
1x 3cm screw
Zip ties
1m of 1" black pipe
1" Uniseal
1.5" hole saw (For uniseal hole).
15cm of 1" pipe
1x 1" T piece
1x 1" 90° elbow
20cm of wire
Corrugated cardboard (any box)
Small bucket with handle
5L of expanded clay balls
Water butt tap
1mm drill bit
Water butt sized drill bit
Garden tray
Baking flour
Food waste

This is for the advanced level box but you can make it much more straight forward.

To build a successful fly box you will need to understand a little bit about flies and maggots.

1. Normal flies are not bad but if you can get hold of Black Soldier Flies (BSF) your bin will be much more efficient and the maggots produced will be massive. BSF larvae are the most efficient maggots you will ever find. They also eat a wider range of waste than normal British flies.

2. BSFs are unique in that they are not attracted to humans when in fly form. They have no mouth parts so they don't go looking for food. After pupation they do nothing but find a mate and lay eggs.

3. The limiting factor with BSFs is that they are native to South Africa so they require warm, bright weather in order to mate. If you choose to produce them and want to do so all year then you will need to provide a warm environment with subsidised light.

4. Most maggots will eat non stop until they are ready to pupate. When this happens they purge their system's and then climb out of the muck in search of a dry place to burrow and then pupate.

Step 1: Choosing your bucket and fitting your exit pipe.

Picture of Choosing your bucket and fitting your exit pipe.
When choosing your container for your fly box, you need to consider how much food waste you produce.

My first bin was made from an old fish pond filter. It was square and had 2 existing holes. I used one as my exit and taped over the other. This was not ideal because the ducktape soon pealed off and I had maggots climbing out both holes.

The new bin is bigger and round. I chose it because it will allow me to dispose of all of my household waste. The lid is very important. The new bin said that it's lid was tight but ideally it would have been water tight. This is because the maggots are amazingly good at squeezing through tight spaces so if your lid does not seal then you will have maggots climbing out all round your bin.

Once you have chosen your bucket, bin or box, you will need to drill a hole for a 1" uniseal. This is your exit pipe hole. If the box seals well then you will have all of the maggots come out of this pipe when they are ready to pupate.
mishaltariq682 months ago
I made this box and maggots developed, but the maggots didnot move up the pipe to the container with flour. They are still in the waste, what do i do to make them move up the ramp?
JosepM117 months ago
Thanks very much for your pots. It is fantastic explanation. Can I contact with you? I hava a BSF larvae proyect to do and I need your opinion. My email is thanks again
AbigailS448 months ago
Do you leave the lid of the bin all through or when do you have to cover it. Thanks
MaximeD401 year ago

Interesting to read that you have trout in your aquaponics system. What type of trout if I may ask? I always thought trout needed colder water which in turn isn't the best temperature to grow greens.

sbayley2 (author)  MaximeD401 year ago
Hi there.

in my experience, trout are perfectly happy up to 25°c this is not what is call cold.

I have had issues with deaths during really hot spells.

As for greens, most of them rely on the ambient temp. the water stays pretty close to the ambient temp so you would have no issue growing greens in winter in my system.

Thank you for your reply!

Malkaris3 years ago
interesting, I'm planning an aquaponics system, but I also have chickens that attract a lot of flies. Do you think merging this with a fly trap would make it almost automatic?
sbayley2 (author)  Malkaris1 year ago
Black soldier flies are incredible because they stop other flies from breeding. So, if you make a fly box using BSF you should be able to limit the production of other species of flies...

good luck.

I've just ordered some black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), so I'm just going on what I've learned looking into this: BSFL give off a scent that is repellent to many other flies. If you start a colony of BSFL, and there are black soldier flies living in your area, you stand a chance of establishing an ongoing run. From what I understand, you can supplement your chicken's feed and reduce the fly population using BSFL....