I am in the process of buildiing a Hobbit Home.
Basicly a covered basement with a post and beam roof, covered in dirt.
My question for everyone, is this....
Is there a spice or a food item, when ground up - will deter ants and or chewing insects ?
My line of thought is, I when I am layering on the different layers of roofing material and waterproofing, would it stop or deter chewing insects, if (as an example) I put in a heavy sprinkling of cyan pepper under the last layer of water proofing membrane - would it stop the little critters ?
What about other powerfull spices? Garlic powder ? The space in between the layers is supposed to be a dry and stable environment, so it would not wash away...
Daves Hobbit Home Build progress
I remember reading somewhere that borax could act to repel ants. I used some of this in my own hobbit hole art studio for basically the same reasons you are thinking. Did it work? Hard to say. I probably could have used more. I was sprinkling some in the straw bales I was then wrapping in plastic and burying for insulation. I've still had ants inside. In fact a couple times over the years I've had swarms of the flying male drones coming out inside! On the other hand as far as I can tell the buried straw bale insulation has not gotten wet and decomposed. I also haven't had any issues with leaks and it's been over 10 years now.
The idea of DE in a dry section between layers of plastic sounds like a good one to me. I recently used it in my house for ants that were invading the fridge! I tried this in the past without much success, but I don't think I was using enough of it. This time I've made a small berm of the stuff completely encircling the fridge. It looks odd, but stopped the ant infestation pretty much immediately. I remember when I bought my bag it wasn't that much more to jump up to the 50lb bag size, so this is what I got. I now have plenty of it to be able to use generously. If you used it on your Hobbit Home I'd use generous quantities too.
I have ants every spring that like to come in a visit my apartment. Mine is a basement apt. and the ground comes up about half way up the walls, so I always have fun little creatures that like to come inside. I use peppermint essensial oli. in a little vinegar and water. Sometimes I add a little castile soap or some oregano or lavender oil. I do have to reuse this every few days. but then I have not really tried to completely get rid of them. You could try planting mint and other herbs. I really only have trouble in the spring when they are wanting to expand. Once I convince them this is not the place to do so the rest of the year is not bad.
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