Insect Frass is insect poop (like guano or castings), but unlike bats or birds, Insect Frass actually comes from plants. In all natural ecosystems (where there are no man-made chemical pesticides), insects feed on and digest vegetation, and give it right back to plants in the form of nature’s perfect plant food. Plants benefit insects – Insects benefit plants!
Insect Frass naturally contains the nutrition plants require, beneficial micro-organisms, and the only immediately plant-available source of chitin (pronounced “Kite-in”). Chitin fortifies a plant from the inside out, causing an “auto-immune” response that signals a plant to produce natural toxins which fend off its natural enemies like pests and fungal pathogens.
The EPA says that chitin and chitosan (see FAQ’s) defend against botrytis (grey mold), powdery mildew, early and late blight, fungal pathogens in the root zone (root rot) and root-feeding nematodes. Insect Frass does NOT cause a plant to kill beneficial insects or beneficial nematodes.
Nutrients: Contains ALL macro and micro nutrients, including silica – can be used as an organic base or additive – organic P-K Boost, with no nitrates – organic nitrogen improves nutrient uptake & PSM’s – Use as a foliar spray to feed nutrients directly to leaf tissue.
Beneficial Microorganisms: (bacteria, fungi and protozoa) – 6 trillion cfu/gm; no other biologic source comes close – 100 billion fungal spores per gram – every beneficial bacteria group available – highest amounts of protozoa (amoebae) available – use as a foliar spray for prevent fungal infections.
Insect Chitin: Chitin stimulates the plant’s auto-immune system to create plant secondary metabolites aka exudates, such as chitinase enzyme, terpenes, flavinoids, alkaloids and amino acids, which protect plants from pests and pathogens – The absolute best fungal food for compost teas – works exceptionally well with mycorrhizae – prevents/kills root rot (fungal pathogens in the rhizosphere) – kills root-feeding nematodes and their eggs.
Note: (For best results use de-chlorinated or R/O water in all instances)
Transplanting: Add a pinch of Frass and mycorrhizae to your transplant site to accelerate mycorrhizae and root development.
Hydro: Add 2 cups per 30 gallons water (strain for drip systems) – add directly to reservoir for ebb & flow or flood to drain systems. Detailed hydro instructions here.
Soil/Coco: Pre-Mix 1 cup per cubic foot of loose soil/coco prior to planting (less than 1% by volume) which lasts until end of Week 3. Root drench or top dress beginning week 4.
Root Drench/Top Dress: Add ½ cup Frass per gallon water and root drench, or sprinkle over root zone and water in thoroughly.
Foliar Feed: Add 1 tbsp. per gallon water (1 tsp. per quart), shake and let sit for 30 minutes, then apply. It’s not 100% soluble so either strain, or for best results, mix in a separate container, let solids settle to the bottom and top-fill sprayer. Weekly, beginning week 3.
Compost Tea: Add 1 cup Frass per 15 gallons of tea to achieve fungal dominance.
Kill Fungus Gnats: Add ½ cup per gallon water, shake and let sit for 30 minutes, then root drench. Repeat every 3 weeks.
Q: What is Insect Frass?
A: Insect Frass is the excrement of herbivore insects.
Q: What do you feed the insects?
A: vegetables, cactus and wheat bran
Q: What are the little golden flakes and little black bits in the Frass?
A: Insect exoskeleton parts. They get through the sifter due to their size. They are beneficial.
Q: Can I use Insect Frass in my compost tea?
A: Yes. Insect Frass is a superb fungal food, and makes an excellent substitute for fish hydrolysate.
Q: Should I use Insect Frass as foliar spray?
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 as a foliar spray, 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: 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!