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  #16  
Old 01-26-2022, 07:48 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I'm not a bug expert, but I know something about bugs that eat organic material, like violin bows (made of horsehair). They're similar to carpet beetles, and they live in the case. They're dealt with by leaving the case open to fresh air and sunlight.

If a guitar is built with hide or fish glue, that's the stuff these beetles love.

I'd be very surprised if it were termites. They live in a nest and usually enter a home through earth-to-wood contact. They also need some moisture. I can't see termites living in a guitar case. Are there any bug experts near you? A college, or master gardener extension? I'd get the guitar out of the case ASAP. Maybe use a bug treatment in the case overnight, then leave it out and open to fresh air (and sunlight if you've got it).

Last edited by Mandobart; 01-26-2022 at 07:58 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2022, 07:57 PM
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There's blivet bugs (a made up name) in some reclaimed
unpainted heart-pine beadboard I have. As I use it, I clean it
with linseed oil. This is good for my beadboards and kills the
snot out of the blivet bugs. After "treatment" there's no new
blivet bug frass from the blivet bug holes ever.

Drenching your guitar in boiled linseed oil would not be good
for it. I hope, and believe, that you'll find something that will
work. People's houses are still good and they still live in them
and don't have to throw away their furniture and pianos after
they get their houses tented and fumigated.

-Mike
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:14 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage Runner View Post
Interesting problem there my friend. Does the guitar have Nitrocellulose Finish ? French polish? Iíve seen tiny bugs in a very old Violin years ago. There is some insects that will feast on old natural finish and definitely wood. If I remember the tiny bugs were dead in the old case with violin. They had lightly feasted on the old French Polish finish but had died. Was like opening up the old case and tiny dust specs in there. I think they attacked the old Bow hair too. It was 40 years ago so just going off memory. Moth balls will do the trick!!!!
It's got a French polish. I haven't found any live bugs, and the only dead bug I found was a tiny portion of what looks like dried larva skin that I pulled out of one of the tiny holes that they have bored in the wood. You think mothballs will cut it? Any chance mothballs would damage the guitar in any way??

Thanks!
Greg
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:20 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I'm not a bug expert, but I know something about bugs that eat organic material, like violin bows (made of horsehair). They're similar to carpet beetles, and they live in the case. They're dealt with by leaving the case open to fresh air and sunlight.

If a guitar is built with hide or fish glue, that's the stuff these beetles love.

I'd be very surprised if it were termites. They live in a nest and usually enter a home through earth-to-wood contact. They also need some moisture. I can't see termites living in a guitar case. Are there any bug experts near you? A college, or master gardener extension? I'd get the guitar out of the case ASAP. Maybe use a bug treatment in the case overnight, then leave it out and open to fresh air (and sunlight if you've got it).
It's definitely not termites as I found a little piece of one old dead bug that I pulled out of one of the tiny holes in the guitar. It looks like a piece of larva, yellow with tiny black dots. I think I'll go ahead and trash the case given what you said. It's not a spectacular case, anyway.

Thanks for the reply!!

Greg
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:23 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Originally Posted by Twiddle Dee View Post
Sorry mate, I was just having a bit of fun. Unless you live in a very moist, tropical climate you need not worry of insects devouring your guitar.
Yeah, I figured you were probably kidding, but to be honest I've thought about disposing of it because I have quite a few guitars and it would be a disaster if this spread to others. But I'm not sure you're right about the climate thing. I do think you're correct that a moist tropical climate could make it worse, but since they're already in there (although hopefully they're all dead by now) I wonder if the climate would matter much. Thoughts?

Thanks!
Greg
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:24 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
I have dealt with this before, it needs to go not to a fumigator as they deal with raw woods like pallets etc and they use airborne chemicals and heat sometimes to achieve this, it needs to go to someone that does xray treatment.

Contact vee email your local customs and ask who they use, 30 seconds exposure and everything is dead.

Steve
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the advice. You wouldn't be concerned that fumigating it could damage it in some way?

Thanks!
Greg
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by doclivy View Post
Thanks for the advice. You wouldn't be concerned that fumigating it could damage it in some way?
Yes I would, any fumigating has inherent risks, radiation treatment has zero risks
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:43 PM
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"Moth balls" do not kill insects. Not the current formulation. It is a repellent (too late right?). In the good old days there were two types. One no longer sold contained PDB - paradichlorobenzene. At the right concentration it could kill some insect stages, but it was a bit toxic so most people had no business working with it. And you don't want to be breathing benzene rings.......

There are wood-boring insects that prefer higher temps and humidity and some that do just fine in very dry conditions. That said, I agree that for now, take the instrument out of its case.

I can't comment on fumigants and the guitar finish. Some chemistries can certainly react and as such, you'd want to work with both luthier and a certified fumigator if you go that route. It's not for the feint of heart.... e.g. We still use DDVP under very controlled conditions but it reacts with some plastics and, it is also a bit risky ("Shell No-Pest strips"; 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate). Due to its risk and toxicity it was taken off the shelf years ago (at least one child died from over-exposure in a vehicle with the stuff).

Xray was mentioned. I am not aware of that technique. We have used a variety of things in our Museum. In one instance we contracted a firm to do Carbon Dioxide fumigation. Some folks use Ozone as well. This type of gas fumigation seems the least harmful to an object like a guitar. "seems".....
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2022, 09:53 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdsong View Post
"Moth balls" do not kill insects. Not the current formulation. It is a repellent (too late right?). In the good old days there were two types. One no longer sold contained PDB - paradichlorobenzene. At the right concentration it could kill some insect stages, but it was a bit toxic so most people had no business working with it. And you don't want to be breathing benzene rings.......

There are wood-boring insects that prefer higher temps and humidity and some that do just fine in very dry conditions. That said, I agree that for now, take the instrument out of its case.

I can't comment on fumigants and the guitar finish. Some chemistries can certainly react and as such, you'd want to work with both luthier and a certified fumigator if you go that route. It's not for the feint of heart.... e.g. We still use DDVP under very controlled conditions but it reacts with some plastics and, it is also a bit risky ("Shell No-Pest strips"; 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate). Due to its risk and toxicity it was taken off the shelf years ago (at least one child died from over-exposure in a vehicle with the stuff).

Xray was mentioned. I am not aware of that technique. We have used a variety of things in our Museum. In one instance we contracted a firm to do Carbon Dioxide fumigation. Some folks use Ozone as well. This type of gas fumigation seems the least harmful to an object like a guitar. "seems".....
Thank you for the informative post. Yeah, I kind of figured moth balls might not kill them as they always just seemed like a repellent. There are, however, two types I've been able to find available, one contains p-dichlorobenzene (the same as what you mentioned, no?) and the other naphthalene. Any chance that either of these might kill anything still living in the guitar if I put a solid amount of it in the sound hole and around the case and left it in the case for a while (a month, maybe??)??

I guess I will call around to some fumigation companies and see if they have any experience with this sort of thing. Maybe it's not a DYI situation...

Thanks!
Greg
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  #25  
Old 01-26-2022, 09:56 PM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
Yes I would, any fumigating has inherent risks, radiation treatment has zero risks
Oh, wow, radiation treatment?? Is that at all available for a guitar?? Seems like a potentially good choice. Thanks!

Greg
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2022, 10:57 PM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Non toxic fumigationÖ

I would check fumigation companies that use orange oil or other non/less toxic (to humans) bug zapping.

Donít want to make your guitar toxic to you, just the bugs.

Best on this

Paul
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2022, 11:08 PM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
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Originally Posted by doclivy View Post
It's got a French polish. I haven't found any live bugs, and the only dead bug I found was a tiny portion of what looks like dried larva skin that I pulled out of one of the tiny holes that they have bored in the wood. You think mothballs will cut it? Any chance mothballs would damage the guitar in any way??

Thanks!
Greg
Sounds like the type insects that love old violin varnish bow hair & natural glues. I donít think moth balls would hurtó just donít put in contact with the guitar itself I would try putting M balls in the case pocket. Leave guitar in for few hours. Then open case see if fumes are minimal. Sounds like a only few just made it to your guitar. Likely/ possibly laid eggs? So definitely want to fumigate the guitar. Iíd spray the case before with denatured Alcohol!!! Buy cheap spray bottle fill it with D Alcohol. Spray it good inside. Itíll dry quick
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2022, 11:21 PM
TTiimm TTiimm is offline
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It's likely some type of woodworm.

They are not really worms but beetle larvae.

One of the more aggressive types is the "Furniture beetle." They are common in the warm climate of southern Spain where people treat their homes like we treat for termites in the US. They have been known to eat fine furniture, bathroom doors and yes, guitars. In Spanish they are called Carcoma. The OP said his guitar was from Spain. I have relatives over there. These things are a real pest and if still in the guitar or the eggs are in the guitar then it is a definite risk to other areas of the OP's home.

Here are a few random google links...

Some Spanish Exterminator

Info about various Spanish wood eating beetles.

Andalucia Forums

Turnstone Guitar Company article

Youtube embeds don't seem to work but here is a link to a guy who's homemade Telecaster got eaten. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi5WrFS87Wo

Sorry to hear this. I wish the OP good luck.


-Tim-

Last edited by TTiimm; 01-26-2022 at 11:33 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2022, 12:10 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Originally Posted by doclivy View Post
Oh, wow, radiation treatment?? Is that at all available for a guitar?? Seems like a potentially good choice. Thanks!

Greg
Customs do it all the time, that I why I recommended you reach out to them, they will have places they use and recommend.

Alternatively anyone that does industrial xrays will be able to zap it for you as well
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  #30  
Old 01-27-2022, 12:22 AM
doclivy doclivy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTiimm View Post
It's likely some type of woodworm.

They are not really worms but beetle larvae.

One of the more aggressive types is the "Furniture beetle." They are common in the warm climate of southern Spain where people treat their homes like we treat for termites in the US. They have been known to eat fine furniture, bathroom doors and yes, guitars. In Spanish they are called Carcoma. The OP said his guitar was from Spain. I have relatives over there. These things are a real pest and if still in the guitar or the eggs are in the guitar then it is a definite risk to other areas of the OP's home.

Here are a few random google links...

Some Spanish Exterminator

Info about various Spanish wood eating beetles.

Andalucia Forums

Turnstone Guitar Company article

Youtube embeds don't seem to work but here is a link to a guy who's homemade Telecaster got eaten. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi5WrFS87Wo

Sorry to hear this. I wish the OP good luck.


-Tim-
Hi Tim,

Thank you for the informative reply. Yes, I'm quite sure it's beetle larvae as I dug a tiny piece of a dead one out of one of the tiny holes in the guitar. It's yellow with black spots. Do you have any recommendations on how to treat this, or know where I might look? I've searched the internet pretty extensively and can't find anything. Or should I just burn the guitar like someone in an earlier post said??? Ugh

Thanks!
Greg
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