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Tiny white bugs
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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ElisaDalViolin
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December 3, 2014 - 6:33 pm
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Few years ago, I started to notice some tiny white bugs on my violin specially on the pegs. With time, I realized they appear around autumn/winter (humidity?). I proceeded to fully clean my case and leave it in open air now and then. My teacher recommended me to cover my violin with a silk cloth which made the trick for a while, but no matter how much I clean they always appear. It's the only place I get them. They seem harmless but I really hate to see dust size white dots crawling on my instrument when I play itfrown

Have you ever had them? How can I get rid of them? I couldn't find answers web searching (only talking about bow bugs which it's not the case) so maybe you can help me.

Thank you for reading!

 
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augustoad
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December 3, 2014 - 6:54 pm
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Hey! I made a little research, and I found a similar topic on google regarding small insects on wood. A guy said they might be Psocids (aka booklice, barklice; sorry, didn't find portuguese). I've read they they feed on fungi, algae, lichen and organic detricts. If they're really psocids, I believe it's harmless to your violin itself; however, I suggest you check your violin for fungi, specially if you left your violin untouched during your hiatus on the playing, or organic detricts, maybe inside the instrument. I doubt there would be algae or lichen inside the instrument tho, lol. Here's the wikipedia article about them: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki.....Psocoptera

Also there's a chance they're not psocids at all,in which case I suggest you take it to a Luthier or a bug expert. I hope your violin is unharmed. :)

Edit: I also suggest you take a picture of your bugs, if possible, so we can have an idea of what we're dealing with.

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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ElisaDalViolin
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December 3, 2014 - 7:09 pm
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Thank you @augustoad . I did try to take a photo today but they are so small that the camera can't focus. I found a similar photo on google where you can see their size here. Maybe mold mites? 

 

Edit- They seem to appear on damp surfaces like bathrooms. But why on my violin pegs ?

 
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augustoad
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December 3, 2014 - 7:13 pm
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I think so, it might be it as well. We'd need a bug expert to tell us better, though... It's better if you find one around your place, or hope someone here in the forum had the same problem.

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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SecondFiddle
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December 4, 2014 - 2:37 am
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The violin shop I go to, if someone gives them a case thats infested with bow bugs, they do this:  they clean out the case, treat it with a light pesticide, and then they leave it open in the sun for a few days, because they don't like light and heat.  If they're not bow bugs, I don't know if that'll work.

 

I do know that orange oil is a very mild pesticide that kills most insects instantly, cedar oil also, but I don't know if either one of those would affect your violin...  orange oil is used as a wood cleaner, but it does damage plastic.

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ElisaDalViolin
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December 4, 2014 - 3:02 pm
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So it seems :/ Thank you for your help @augustoad

@SecondFiddle I did the same treatment the first time I saw them.  What it's strange it's I rarely find them on the case, only on violin pegs. They don't appear in large number (the maximum I found was 5-6 maybe) but still it bothers me each year :/ 

 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 6, 2014 - 8:41 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Hey Elisa,

Welcome to the forum by the way. I've been so busy this week that I still have almost 200 unseen posts to look at. :(

Very interesting situation, unfortunately irritating for you, but one that we can learn from. I look forward to hearing what the best solution will be.

Off the top of my head, and reading what has been said above, I wonder too if there isn't something on the pegs that attracts them. What material are your pegs made of? Is there any oil or compound where the bugs are hanging out? Have you ever taken off the pegs? Personally I like "SecondFiddle"s orange oil suggestion. I can't imagine that hurting the pegs or the wood on your peg box and I know that it's used for termite treatment here in Florida.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ElisaDalViolin
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December 6, 2014 - 12:46 pm
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Hi Fiddlerman! Thank you for your reply. Don't worry, you did welcome me before :D  

I've started to put some peg compound this year to make them move better (the A string cause me some blisters in the summer). But they already appeared the years before.

I think my pegs are made of hard/ebonized wood (I say this because my violin is considered a VSO by some, but others, like my teacher, say I was really lucky with mine because of the sound quality and for not being plywood like the others that they are manufacturing now under the same brand. A former student had one and it was very different from mine :/ But I'll be upgrading as soon as I have enough money dancing )

Sometimes they appear on the peg "slots" which I clean with a cotton swab where the cloth can't reach, but overall they like to party on the head of the peg. They don't seem to like the inside part of the peg box though. I clean my violin almost everyday to remove the dust and cover all the instrument with the silk cloth, even if I don't play . It seems to help but my eyes enter eagle mode and always detect one or two. I suspect it's a humidity problem however it doesn't explain why are the pegs the affected area.dunno 

 
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 6, 2014 - 8:14 pm
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A big mystery. :)
Hope you solve it.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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coolpinkone
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December 8, 2014 - 3:51 pm
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I hope the buggers go away.. it gives me the heebies to think of them.

Sounds like you are on track to get rid of them.  Keep us posted..bug-1_gif

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Shralper
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December 8, 2014 - 5:04 pm
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I am definitely no expert here but to me it sounds like the bugs are laying eggs in either the violin or your case. So preventing them from laying the eggs/removing the bugs and the eggs they've lain will be the problem.  Vacuum maybe?

Here are a couple other natural things that might be worth trying; putting dryer sheets in your case, sprinkling cinnamon on the affected area, and last but not least leaving a dish of turned wine near the violin (many bugs are attracted to the smell of the sugar and vinegar) and will crawl in and die in a drunken stupor.

 

Good luck!

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ElisaDalViolin
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December 8, 2014 - 5:58 pm
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Thank you guys for your comments.

They are not disgusting to me since it's not that serious, only few appear casualy in this season.  When the good weather starts showing up, they disappear . It just bugs me seeing them every year.confused

One thing I've been doing differently, and it seems to work, is leaving my windows a bit opened specially at night for air circulation. It lowered the number of appearances (I only found one within 3 days of not opening the violin case, that makes me happy!)

I've read ( in some portuguese sites) people are getting these on their electronic stuff, like pc keyboards or screens, gaming consoles, stuff where the bugs hide for warm. It wouldn't impress me much if I saw them in the body of the violin or the case itself, but that rarely happens hence my doubt of them appearing on one of the most exposed parts, the pegs. 

Other thing I just remembered is the fact I had room isolation problems two years ago. Got that fixed right away because of my allergies. Can this be a important thing to the matter?

 
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ElisaDalViolin
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December 27, 2014 - 5:43 pm
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After some testing, I can happily announce that I got rid of those annoying dots!

For those who may have this problem in future, my solution was the following:

after SecondFiddle's advice about orange oil, I got some of those mild wet wipes made for varnished wood. I cleaned my violin with them and afterwards passed a microfiber cloth to clean any residue once a week. Since they are specially made for varnished wood, they don't hurt the violin nor the pegs. Besides that, I kept my normal routine of dust cleaning almost everyday.

I didn't see more bugs after that, so I may conclude that it was a success! 

Thank you everybody for your help!  violin-1267

 
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coolpinkone
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December 27, 2014 - 9:03 pm
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That is fantastic!! Thanks for reporting back!   Seems like a great solution!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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December 28, 2014 - 6:49 pm
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So just the wet wipes and no orange oil?
Thanks for the update. Happy for you. :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ElisaDalViolin
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December 28, 2014 - 7:30 pm
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I'm sorry, I should have written "after SecondFiddle's advice about orange oil and its use as a wood cleaner" but for some reason I forgot to retype it.

Yes, just the wipes :)  

 
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