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Sep 21, 2021 - 9:42:30 AM

JK321

Canada

7 posts since 4/9/2021

I just received a Gourd Banjo from Barry Sholders. I am loving the sound, but I seem to have a bit of a problem. I notced a few very small holes in the fretboard, and thought nothing of it. That was until I opened my case to play today and noticed small whitish bugs crawling on the fret board... I am 90% sure they are termites. Has anyone experienced anything similar??? Any advice?

Sep 21, 2021 - 9:55:50 AM

179 posts since 12/21/2012

Ooof. Never had that happen. Maybe a flea collar in the case would cure?

Sep 21, 2021 - 9:59:25 AM

58226 posts since 12/14/2005

White bugs with brown biters?

That's the look of the mighty termiters!

Send BARRY a picture, since they may be native to his area, and he'd know.

Sep 21, 2021 - 10:10:13 AM

443 posts since 3/26/2009

I have one with past infestation problems...  Actually the wood was like this but I used it anyway.

Sep 21, 2021 - 10:24:49 AM

mbanza

USA

2388 posts since 9/16/2007

I had some wood with a similar problem, but putting it in a freezer for six months killed the insects.  If your freezer is colder than -20F, two weeks or so may work.  There is online information describing the process.

Edited by - mbanza on 09/21/2021 10:30:35

Sep 21, 2021 - 10:34:59 AM

6468 posts since 9/21/2007

Yikes! My question is, did it come with them or did it get them after you got it?

If it was shipped that way then It should go back that way. In the mean time I'd seal the whole thing in plastic bags.

Sep 21, 2021 - 10:45:02 AM

6468 posts since 9/21/2007

Oh, I forgot to add... Anytime I buy old sheet music/banjo books or banjos, I always check them over very carefully for any signs of insects.

Since most of my banjos were bought well aged, my biggest fear is not termites or woodworm but bed bugs. Old banjo cases are often kept under beds. If the banjo has a case I check every nook and crease with a flashlight and glass. So far I have not seen any, but I will stay vigilant as I want no part of that (we even have an oven thing that we use to cook all of our clothing and luggage after any trip that involves hotels, trains, planes or rented cars).

But I do look for any signs of eaten wood or paper too.

Sep 21, 2021 - 1:08:46 PM

AldenS

Canada

140 posts since 10/23/2017

I've never experienced that with a banjo, but I have experienced it with some live edge shelving we put in our kitchen a couple years back (a variety of wood-boring beetle in our case). We bought the wood relatively green and the larvae that were already inside eventually matured and made their way back out. The first one I noticed chewed its way out right in front of me, which was a bit of a shock. If you haven't had the banjo long then it's unlikely they came from you. Most of these insects don't have life cycles short enough for you to have introduced them if you really "just" got the banjo as you say. That's assuming that the ones you saw actually came out of the neck, which is my guess. I'm not an expert on termites, but I'd wager if you had a bad enough termite problem that they're rapidly infesting your musical instruments, you'd know.

Edited by - AldenS on 09/21/2021 13:09:05

Sep 21, 2021 - 1:23:10 PM
like this
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5589 posts since 10/12/2009

Termites in my gourd banjo.........sounds like a good title for a clawhammer tune !

Sep 21, 2021 - 7:00:56 PM

8988 posts since 8/28/2013

I would certainly do what Joel suggests. Until you send it back, make absolutely certain the banjo is sealed up in plastic, and I mean really sealed. You don't want these little beasts chewing on anything else.  I've encountered enough termite damage to know what they can do, and how quickly they can do it.

Just in case, you should check your entire home, or even call an exterminator, to make sure these termites came from the banjo and not your floor joists.

Sep 21, 2021 - 8:48:15 PM

322 posts since 12/28/2014

Not once have I had bugs in a instrument new or old. I would first check the species to see if they are native and if they are I would then check to see if they came from your house first since your flooring and joists are of a higher priority than a banjo.

Sep 21, 2021 - 9:06:17 PM

58226 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by AldenS

I've never experienced that with a banjo, but I have experienced it with some live edge shelving we put in our kitchen a couple years back (a variety of wood-boring beetle in our case). We bought the wood relatively green and the larvae that were already inside eventually matured and made their way back out. The first one I noticed chewed its way out right in front of me, which was a bit of a shock. If you haven't had the banjo long then it's unlikely they came from you. Most of these insects don't have life cycles short enough for you to have introduced them if you really "just" got the banjo as you say. That's assuming that the ones you saw actually came out of the neck, which is my guess. I'm not an expert on termites, but I'd wager if you had a bad enough termite problem that they're rapidly infesting your musical instruments, you'd know.


"Been there, done that..."

-Ellen Ripley, intergalactic explorer-

Sep 22, 2021 - 9:15:44 AM

8988 posts since 8/28/2013

One alternative would be to let the termites just tunnel their way through the neck. Then you could throw away the gourd and use that
now-hollow neck as a didgeridoo.

Sep 29, 2021 - 10:45:16 AM

JK321

Canada

7 posts since 4/9/2021

Well, its been a week with no word back from Barry. I wonder if he thinks I'm trying to pull a fast one on him. I couldn't get a shot of the bugs to send to him.

Does anyone have any advice? I currently have the thing in its original box, wrapped up in countless garbage bags. I haven't noticed any termite issues yet. At this point I don't want a refund- I just want to get rid of the thing.

Sep 29, 2021 - 10:51:59 AM

JK321

Canada

7 posts since 4/9/2021

Im beginning to wonder if the bugs are wood mites rather than termites: They are very very small, and I don't notice any brown on them. Not worth the risk though.

Sep 29, 2021 - 6:22:58 PM

787 posts since 5/23/2007

“Tent” it? Contact a pest control company.

Sep 29, 2021 - 9:14:46 PM

2344 posts since 2/7/2008

They may be powder post beetles which are bad news.

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