[Strawbale]SB critters and how to get rid of them?

Chug. chug at strawbale-building....uk
Mon May 10 12:37:16 CEST 2004

Hi Andre,

These sound like they could be Psocids, Psocids are harmless in small
numbers and rarely cause damage by direct feeding.

However, large number may cause damage to delicate materials such as books
and fur.


Kester Wilkinson reported these pests in his Strawbale house, I think he is
on this list so may offer his advice/remedy,
if not his email is info at thestrawhouse....uk

chug at strawbale-building....uk
----- Original Message -----
From: "m.ep" <m.ep at laposte...>
To: "strawbale" <strawbale at amper....muni.cz>
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 10:00 AM
Subject: [Strawbale]SB critters and how to get rid of them?

Dear SB friends,

Erica Sapir, an english lady that lives in France build her SB house last
year but now has some uninvited guests. We don't yet know what they are but
she'd like to know and most of all, how to get rid of them. (Personally I'd
also like to know how they got there)

Below you find her description, my questions and her replies.
Any ideas?

La Maison en Paille


.. and a straw bale house I did build,  with Jacques Gratiet,  and Jacques
Bon, from Brittany both of them. I am living in it already from last March,
and doing the finishing touches (but it still needs a last coat on the
It is a good and beautiful home. However, from about a month I have an
invasion of tiny insects that make their home at the edges between the
plastered walls and the tiled floor.... They produce, or come from, a sort
of powdery brownish stuff, and then they become tiny white dots, hardly
visible by the naked eye, and then, I suppose they become tiny insects like
a kind of lice...
Have you ever met such a thing? do you have an idea of what it can be?

What type of plasters (inside & outside)
If lime is used, what type "hydraulique" et/ou "aérienne"?
Erica: The plaster is "chaux hydraulique" and then "chaux aérienne" The
second layer was finished in December, but inside there are three layers,
finished in December as well, and the "beasts" are inside the house, not
outside, as far as I can see., and they are not in places like the attic,
where there is only one rough layer, or where there is a "window of truth"
to show the straw....

Were the bales very dry before stacking the walls?
Erica: Yes, we got them in August, and there was no rain, all the time. and
they were stacked inside the house.

Are the bales still dry (did you check by making a hole in the plaster?)
Are there any left over bales? Do they have the same critters?
Any other organic material used (in wall roof or other)
 Erica: I didnt check if they are still dry, and the critters are only
along the floor, inside.
On the roof, I have mutton wool insulation, but there is no problem there.

Can you sent me a picture (small file size or by post) of the critters
Can you give a precise description
How long after construction did they appear? What was the weather like?
Do they keep on coming or was it only once that they came out.
Erica: I sent a box full of "the critters" to a office of home hygiene, but
he does not yet have an answer...
They appeared in March; actually, the theory of Jacques, is that they were
organisms dormant in the straw, and they come out with the spring. He had
some kind of moths, which disappeared after he wacoom cleaned...
Mine come again and again, but maybe a little less now. I must confess,
that in desperation, I sprayed them with some ant-poison. (yes I am ashamed
of myself). But there are still lots of them. They are tiny, like
"puces"(Fleas), and some, or all, have wings. They dont bite, nor jump, but
they are surely hardy....and  the brownish  powdery stuff which comes with
them, have a peculiar smell. It is a mystery; nobody seems to know what it

Post and beam in the SB walls or only straw?
Erica: The house is Post and beam, and we used "pin douglas" as wood.

Well, thank you for your help. Maybe somebody in the list will have an

Kind greetings,

Accédez au courrier électronique de La Poste : www.laposte.net ;
3615 LAPOSTENET (0,34?/mn) ; tél : 08 92 68 13 50 (0,34?/mn)

More information about the Strawbale mailing list