Rethink Your Life!
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Kiko Denzer on Art



[Cob] RE: Coblist Digest, Vol 4, Issue 2

claysandstraw kindra at claysandstraw.com
Thu Jan 5 10:19:39 PST 2006


Hi Robert,

You are correct to have concern with ants.  I have known at least one cob
builder to tear down a significant portion of the wall during construction
in order to remove a colony who had literally dug in.  Here in Texas our
ants make houses in any protected location: tarps carelessly flung on the
ground, flower pots upside down, piles of sand waiting to make cob, cob
ovens over dry stacked foundations.  Therefore when preparing for a project
I take the very important precaution of mortaring the stone/urbanite in the
foundation to close up any potential pathways into the house.  I am not sure
of the behavior of your ants, but ours never enter a house above ground
level, unless of course they build a monster ant pile against the house and
raise the ground level up a bit.
Also you might try mixing boric acid into your first foot or so of cob -
boric acid is non toxic to humans but destroys the digestive enzymes of wood
munching insects such as termites - it might work for ants too.

You might try a test project, a cob oven, see if you can strategize around
the ants.  If they don't bother your oven, a house should be fine.

Kindra


Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 18:51:25 +0100
From: "Robert Matthews" <rob at drtwiggy.com>
Subject: RE: [Cob] re: ants??

Hi Tys and all
I am planning a cob house in an area considered by some, due to the
enormous number of ants, to be a very large ant hill.  It's actually a
mountain range, the Sierra Nevada,  in Spain. Nevertheless the ant
problem does worry me as every house I have been in around here has ants
in the summer. These houses are of a more conventional or traditional
build - including stone/mud or brick/cement - yet they all fail to keep
the ants out. We don't mind the odd family coming to stay in the summer
- it has its bonuses but I don't want them making huge colonies in the
walls and causing the house to fall down.
If anyone has experience of building an ant ridden area do speak up.
Many thanks
Robert