insects (mealworms)

What is this?

It is a nutrient-dense soil amendment that promotes plant growth.

From insect farms, frass is made up of their droppings, their moults and a few residues from their diet.

The mealworm frass is grainy and dry. It can be stored in a cool but not humid environment, in its original packaging.

How is it used for fertilizing plants?

Frass is a soil amendment. It can be mixed with the soil surface at a rate of 0.64 kg / m2 or about 1 tablespoon per 3 cups of soil. You can also mix 4 teaspoons of frass in 1L of water, with a drop of dish soap to help dissolve. The resulting liquid can then be used to water the plants.

Does he have superpowers?

TriCycle's frass will soon be the subject of further scientific research to find out!

However, recent scientific studies have shown that mealworm frass can help plants resist certain stresses like drought, flooding, and salinity (1). The chitin it contains can also stimulate the immune system of plants to ward off attacks from insect pests or pathogenic fungi (2).

3-4-2 (N-P-K)

High phosphorus content supports rooting and flowering (3)!

What are its agronomic qualities?

The nutrient content of frass varies depending on the diet initially given to mealworms, so each commercial product is different.

That of TriCycle contains nutrients of interest to plants, including 3% total nitrogen, 4% phosphorus (as P₂O₅) and 2% potassium (K₂O). It also contains magnesium (<10,000 ppm), calcium (3400 ppm), sulfur (2300 ppm), iron (161 ppm), manganese (185 ppm) and zinc (119 ppm).

Its organic matter content is very high (75%), so it is a rich amendment for the soil. Organic matter is important for soil life, structure, resistance to drought and can act as a sink for carbon sequestration (4). Its pH being 5.84, it will have a moderately acidifying effect, depending on the soil to which it is added (5). A carbon: nitrogen ratio of 13: 1 and a very low humidity level (8.7%) give it stability during storage. If there is moisture in the soil, it will become biologically active again.

Is it a safe amendment?

Yes! It is a biologically stable product. An accredited laboratory has verified that it complies with bacteriological safety standards for E. coli, salmonella and Lysteria. However, avoid inhaling dust, especially if you have asthma or are allergic to dust, mites or shellfish.

Is it comparable to compost?

Yes, kind of. Compost and frass have moderate levels of macronutrients compared to synthetic fertilizers. However, they are both rich in trace elements and organic matter, characteristics not found in synthetic fertilizers.

500 g

12 $
  • 3-4-2 (NPK)
  • can support rooting and flowering
  • help against drought and floods
  • protects against insect pests and pathogenic fungi

1 kg

19 $
  • 3-4-2 (NPK)
  • can support rooting and flowering
  • help against drought and floods
  • protects against insect pests and pathogenic fungi


(1) Poveda, J., Jiménez-Gómez, A., et al. (2019) Mealworm frass as a potential biofertilizer and abiotic stress tolerance-inductor in plants. Applied Soil Ecology 142: 110-122.

(2) Kombrink, A., Sanchez-Vallet, A. et al. (2011) The role of chitin detection in plant–pathogen interactions. Microbes and Infection 13(14-15): 1168-1176.

(3) Smith, T. & Cox, D. (2015) Fertilizing flower gardens and avoid too much phosphorus. Environmental & Water Conservation Fact Sheets. University of Massachussetts Amherst: The Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

(4) Bot, A., & Benites, J. (2005) The importance of soil organic matter: Key to drought-resistant soil and sustained food production (No. 80). Food & Agriculture Org.

(5) US Department of Agriculture (date inconnue) Soil Quality Indicators: pH. Soil Quality Information Sheet.