Sunday, October 11, 2015

Making rotten wood!

Remember when I said I had stuff "brewing" in the bug room? Well I really should have said fermenting, because that is exactly what I'm doing, fermenting Traeger wood pellets to make rotten wood! All it takes is Traeger wood pellets, flour, and yeast! (I think active dry yeast is the best).

First you take a bunch of wood pellets, and then pour hot water on them, and then they expand, kinda like the coconut fiber bricks. So remember, a cup of pellets makes lots of sawdust, so don't use too much! Then you dry the sawdust out, add flour and yeast, stir well, and then add some water to make it moist again. Put it in a well ventilated container, stir it daily for about a month, and bam! You have rotten wood! (Fermenting times can vary though, keep that in mind!).

While fermenting, the temperature of the wood rises, and it feels hot to the touch. When it is done fermenting, it will return to normal temperature. If used while still fermenting, you will probably bake your bugs alive, so you gotta wait until it is done fermenting. Here are my ratios for the wood and flour and yeast:

Roughly 10 cups of sawdust (not the actual pellets, the resulting sawdust!)

1 cup of flour (I used bread flour, I'm pretty sure you can use any wheat flour)

And one small packet of active dry yeast (I think I should have used a little more yeast, but whatever, it's my first try!)

Here are some pictures of the wood! (So interesting, right?)

In case you didn't know, rotten wood is needed as food for many different invertebrates, rhino beetle and stag beetle larva for example. Lots of click beetle larva like to eat it too, so it is a good material to have on hand. Today I noticed the wood was getting hot, so the fermenting process has begun! Will keep you guys posted on any interesting developments! Hope you guys enjoyed! :)


  1. Wish I'd seen this when I had rhino beetle grubs !

  2. Yep, it's a pretty nice method for when you live in an area without forests (Like where I live, its all scrubland here).