Top Frequently Asked Questions:
- Q: What is Insect Frass?
A: Insect Frass is the excrement of herbivore insects. (also go to Wikipedia)
- Q: What do they feed the insects?
A: That would depend on the farm, but normally vegetables and Wheat Bran
- Q: What are little black bits and the little golden flakes in the Frass?
A: Insect exoskeleton parts. They get through the sifter due to their size. They are beneficial.
- Q: Does Insect Frass work with hydroponics and soil?
A: Yes, look at this Feeding Chart to learn how to use Frass, with other recommended inputs to improve yield.
- Q: How do I use Insect Frass?
A: It’s best to pre-mix into a growing media or soil, but if your plants are already started, add Insect Frass to water and root drench, or top dress and water thoroughly.
- Q: Will Insect Frass work as an Organic base-nutrient source?
A: Yes. All you need to add is a little gypsum or calcium carbonate (depending on your pH), and a little Nitrogen in the vegetative growth phase. (Here, a super nice feeding chart)
- Q: Can I use Insect Frass in my compost tea?
A: Yes. Insect Frass is a superb fungal food. Substitute for fish hydrolysate.
- Q: Should I use Insect Frass foliarly?
A: Yes. Add just 2 teaspoons per gallon water. Let sit for 30 minutes, then apply.
- Q: Is Insect Frass 100% soluble?
A: No. If you’re using a drip system or using foliarly, make sure to strain Insect Frass with a sock or women’s nylon. If you don’t have a strainer, you can put Frass in a container with water, stir, let sit for 30 minutes, then use just the top portion. The solids will settle at the bottom of the container.
- Q: How do use Insect Frass if I have a drip system?
A: Pre-mix Insect Frass into your grow medium if possible. If your plants are already started make an extract by putting ½ cup per gallon water for full strength organic nutrient base, and root drench by hand into each plant. If you’re using a separate nutrient feeding program only use 1 tablespoon per gallon.
- Q: What is Chitin?
A: Chitin is a naturally occurring molecule (Poly-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine). Structurally, it is related to cellulose, which consists of long chains of glucose molecules linked to each other. Chitin is present in the shells of all crustaceans and insects, and in certain other organisms including many fungi, algae, and yeast.
- Q: What makes insect Chitin better than crustacean Chitin?
A: In simple terms, insect chitin is the form used by plants in nature. Crustacean chitin is trapped in the calcified shell. In order to get the chitin from inside the calcified shell, it must be boiled in potassium hydroxide (certainly not organic). On the other hand, the chitin in insect frass is broken down by the plant naturally, by the chitinase enzyme produced by the plants own immune-response-system. That’s organic!
- Q: What does Chitin do for plants?
A: Chitin triggers a plant’s immune-response-system causing the plant to defend itself from pests and pathogens. Chitin is a natural biopesticide, and is known to kill root-feeding nematodes and their eggs, and fungal pathogens in the root zone. When plants sense Chitin in the vicinity, they think they are being eaten by insects, so the plant protects itself by strengthening its cell walls, produces more chute biomass (stalk and leaf material) and excretes secondary metabolites to ward off pests and pathogens.
- Q: What is Chitosan?
A: Chitosan is the plant available form of Chitin, and it is created when the plant’s immune-response-system excretes a natural enzyme called Chitinase, which breaks down Chitin into Chitosan, which is a plant growth enhancer and a substance that boosts the ability of plants to defend themselves against fungal diseases such as downy and powdery mildew, botrytis (gray mold), and early and late blight when applied foliarly (and in our experience it also kills fungus gnats, mites, white flies, etc. Just about any pest that eats plants).
- Q. What is #Blatticomposting?
A. Blatticomposting is a new technique that uses cockroaches to convert human food wastes into compost. Sound’s crazy? Learn more here!