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Rotting wood


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 How should rotting wood feel to the touch? I've read on other forums that good rotting wood should be white to pale yellow and easily crumble. I found a log that meet those requirements but it also feels "spongy" and soft. Is that normal or should it be hard to the touch but still crumble?

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  • 3 weeks later...

It also depends on the type of wood and how to decayed. So it can be white and spongy, but also be brown and crumble. 

I generally stick to the rule: if I can scratch the wood off with my fingernails, the roaches will be able to eat it. And if the wood comes from the right kind of tree (wood that's not toxic for roaches) the roaches will decide themselves that they prefer. When in doubt, you can always experiment by offering different kinds of rotten wood. 

My Panesthia roaches do eat a lot of wood, but leave the harder parts alone. Which in turn gives me 'interestingly' shaped pieces of wood once they're done. 

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Whether or not rotting wood crumbles can vary a lot depending on how wet it is at the time.

If you'd have a hard time picking up a log entirely made of the stuff, it's rotted enough. If it's not quite rotted far enough, that won't hurt anything. I don't think it's possible for wood to be too rotted unless it's turned into dirt. The really good rotted stuff is super soft, nice and spongy. I like how it feels. You can break it apart in your fingers, and generally should, to check for stowaways. Even if you're gonna boil it, it's good to try and shake out whatever live things you can before boiling it. Sometimes bumblebees nest in rotting wood, so you can find the grubs or pupae. Those in particular should be left alone- just put a whole little chunk with them in it back and let them keep doing their thing. You should also avoid termites, they'll eat the wood before your roaches do and might not be the best thing to bring into your house. 

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