To be suitable for sheltering pests, our homes must offer them openings, nests, and food. Plastered bale walls are short on all three, since their plaster coating seals the bales from foundation to roof with a difficult-to-chew barrier. Should a gap be left open in the plaster, the bales themselves are too densely packed to make comfortable housing for mice and other rodents.All those comfy spaces in your neighbor's frame walls, lightly packed with batt insulation, make a much more inviting home.
There is little food for any living creature in a straw wall; even termites tend to eschew straw. An inordinate amount of seed head in the straw does provide a good source of food, which is why you should check your bales for excess seed content before purchasing them. Care should be taken — as with any style of construction — to keep pests out during the building process.
While we have heard of very few pest problems in bale walls, that doesn't mean pests won't live in your roof, floor, and basement!
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