[GSBN] GSBN:Straw and insects
derek at unm.edu
Thu May 29 22:42:46 CDT 2008
Since this has been going on in this Pennsylvania building for several
months, I would be worried that there may be an undiscovered source of
moisture and a significant gap in the air barrier/plaster. I think it
would be worth doing some more hunting for the pathways that these
moths are using. It may be that the problem is not in the bale wall,
but that some other places in the structure are the source of the
I hope they can avoid the nasty chemical option, which would likely be
ineffective, if the moths are hatching from eggs already in the straw
in large numbers. It is possible that the moths are breeding in some
other spot. Even more likely that the gnats are coming from somewhere
other than the bale wall. Whenever something new is tried, it is
likely to be blamed for all problems, without verification.
Verification is hard, blame is easy. If the pheromone traps aren't
working, they are probably not designed for this insect. Maybe they
are the wrong traps, maybe the insect has been misidentified.
--On Wednesday, May 28, 2008 5:05 PM -0600 Laura Bartels
<laura at greenweaverinc.com> wrote:
> Dear community of sb'rs,
> Continuing on this subject of straw and insects, I have gotten yet
> another email about a project I was involved in in Pennsylvania
> saying that they are still dealing with a moth infestation. It is an
> industrial manufacturing facility that is part straw bale. The latest
> email said..."it seems to be worsening. The moths have been
> identified as a common grain moth and they are everywhere. They
> don't respond to sex traps and we have just set out a blue light
> trap. It is early, but doesn't seem to be working either. Other
> than tenting the building and using nasty chemicals, the exterminator
> is out of ideas. We also just got a huge crop of nats that he says
> is tied to the straw."
> The moths first appeared, along with a spider, in the truth window.
> They had initially left one top of wall unsealed, which when that was
> realized, was plastered in hopes that that might solve the issue in
> the building.
> I am honestly not sure what to tell them and hope someone else may
> have successfully dealt with a similar issue. We discussed various
> options, all of which have drawbacks.
> On the other hand, the project has been very successful in other
> ways, particularly in introducing interior earthen plasters using
> site soil with a large plaster subcontractor. They loved the
> material, and hope to do more. The straw bale was the first in the
> area. The project is seeking LEED Gold status.
> Thanks for any thoughts on this,
> Laura Bartels
> GreenWeaver Inc.P.O. Box 912, Carbondale, CO 81623
> Ph 970-379-6779, Fax 970-963-0905
> laura at greenweaverinc.com
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek at unm.edu
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