Imagine an insect that can eat nearly anything, control microbes, live off of water alone in the adult stage, and be a good source of protein for animal feed. The black soldier fly is real, not science fiction, and it has researchers at Mississippi State University abuzz with excitement.

John Schneider, a professor of entomology in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, said the black soldier fly is a native insect common to the Southeast. Because it is not attracted to human living spaces or food, it is not considered a pest. As part of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, MSU scientists are studying the black soldier fly as a potential solution to dealing with large amounts of waste while also generating a feed product.