Sign in to follow this  
theviolaguy

Bed Bugs and Violas

Recommended Posts

My familie's home was just diagnosed with a bed bug infestation. We are having a professional exterminate the home, but I do not know if I need to do anything for my viola. I figure I can leave the case in my home when they do the extermination, but I cannot and will not leave my viola. They heat up our home past 130 degrees Fahrenheit. My question is this, do I need to have my viola cleaned/what do I do to make sure bed bugs are not hiding in my instrument?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are worried about stuff hiding in your viola you can put dry rice into your ff holes and gently shake it around.  You can use a funnel to get it in but be very careful not to damage or distort the ff holes.  I would not leave your bows in the heat either.  You can vacuum your case out very well using a crevice tool on your vacuum.  You can shake the rice out and discard it. It may get all kinds of old dust out of it.

 

 

DLB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should be able to "exterminate" your viola yourself. If you look up "bed bug killer" on Goolge, you'll find that diatomaceous earth will kill bed bugs. Put a couple of heaping tablespoons inside your viola, shake it around, and store it in a sealed plastic bag for a couple of weeks (egg hatching time). After that, shake out the excess, put a bit of dry rice in, shake it around and shake out. Any remaining dust inside won't hurt the viola.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put the open case in the direct open air sun for two or three hot afternoons, it will kill mold mildew and bugs. That will disinfect it. Case mites and other critters can't handle sun. Doubtful you have bed bugs in the viola, they seek sweaty moisture and couches, clothes, carpets, beds, laundry baskets....all better targets. Cases hold moisture and sweat transferred from your neck on the chin rest, but over all probably not a big target for bedbugs.  Violas seem like a low grade target for habitation when so many other environments in the home offer better territory for critters. They really like heat and moisture and fabric. 

 

Not too sure I would seal an instrument in a plastic bag for two weeks....never know what else might grow, or how sealed moisture will effect structure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"they seek sweaty moisture and couches, clothes, carpets, beds, laundry baskets"

Actually they hide in bed frames, cracks in walls, under room moldings, etc.. Leaving the case open in the sun may work for bow mites, but I wouldn't guarantee that it would work for bed bugs. Leave the case in the house, and do the diatomaceous earth in the viola.

 

"never know what else might grow, or how sealed moisture will effect structure. "

There won't be any more moisture in the bag, than there would be in the case. Violins come delivered with plastic bags over the cases (keeps them clean), and who knows how long they have been in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bed bugs don't like violas...

I wouldn't be worried...unless of course you've been sleeping with it...

 

Do a quick visual if you're concerned.  Bed bugs aren't that small.  Well, unless they're baby bed bugs...those are kinda small...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can get your hands on the equipment, a direct, intense neutron beam should work.  Make sure you protect yourself with tin foil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once told the people in a violin shop that I sometimes shoot blasts of compressed air into the f-holes of my violins. They looked at me like I had just admitted to being a serial killer. But I can't see any reason why it would hurt the instrument. And I can't deny that it's very gratifying to see that cloud of dust (sometimes) come flying out of the other f-hole. I've learned that it's best done outside. It's really a very effective way to get stuff out of a violin. About 100 psi works for me. Now, when I go into a new violin shop, the first thing I do is look for the air compressor. When I see that, and the pneumatic nail guns, I know that you know what you're doing. ;) But I also know what you're thinking. "That's not Cremonese."

N.B., Perhaps it would be wise to look for loose labels and point the air blast away from them. But shaking rice around could damage a loose label too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.

Do not confuse bed bugs with termites.

Well, then, I don't know why the OP would bother worrying about the viola.

 

Also—and I'm quite ignorant on exactly what eats what—I don't think what eats bow hair is what bores into violins.  

 

I believe it has long been thought that as long as we are playing our instruments on a daily basis, none of these little buggers gets comfortable enough to develop a hearty appetite.  I understand it's NOT the vibrations which cause them such discomfort;  rather, it is that they are quite musically sophisticated and simply detest violin music.  It is well known that they love trombone music, but tragically for them the trombone doesn't make for such good eating.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can get your hands on the equipment, a direct, intense neutron beam should work.  Make sure you protect yourself with tin foil.

What a ridiculous idea!  Pass it through a gamma-ray food sterilizer instead.  :P

 

Seriously, the problem is the case as well.  Bedbugs often hitchhike in luggage.  What I'd do would be to put mothballs inside the case with the viola and then spray the outside with Raid or something and put it in a safe place for a couple of weeks.   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a ridiculous idea!  Pass it through a gamma-ray food sterilizer instead.  :P

 

Seriously, the problem is the case as well.  Bedbugs often hitchhike in luggage.  What I'd do would be to put mothballs inside the case with the viola and then spray the outside with Raid or something and put it in a safe place for a couple of weeks.   :)

  And you're a scientist?? Why can't you think of some organic hippie non chemical company solution? I thought scientists were supposed to know all these tricky ways to get rid if insects, like beneficial insects that eat other insects and then die when the prey is all eaten up-or putting neem oil on aphids, you know use nature.

 

BUT NO! You have to resort to COMMON household insecticides??? 

 

Rue needs to have the Come to Jesus talk with you.  :P  B)  :ph34r:

 

 

Speaking of that, I once saw an exhibit about bugs at the National History Museum. There was a walk through diorama of a kitchen and the title of the section was 'Cockroaches and where they hide'.  It was sponsored by Dow Chemical. I thought come on, really? That was the best you could do NHM...

 

I was so disgusted I went over to the Air and Space Museum and pretended I like the hanging propaganda, well I do like the planes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  And you're a scientist?? Why can't you think of some organic hippie non chemical company solution? I thought scientists were supposed to know all these tricky ways to get rid if insects, like beneficial insects that eat other insects and then die when the prey is all eaten up-or putting neem oil on aphids, you know use nature.

 

BUT NO! You have to resort to COMMON household insecticides??? 

 

 

I thought Doug's answer was pretty good. Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive that erodes and absorbs the protective lipid layer of bed bug's exoskeloten which results in desication of the bed bugs.  If you are just trying to treat the case, the OP cold either freeze the case or heat it above 45 C.  I would freeze plant samples for 72 hours to prevent introduction of pests into the herbarium, so I would guess that should be sufficient.   Heating could easily be done by leaving the case open in a car parked in the summer sun.  Of course all this is without the viola!  I guess it is possible that the heat treatment could damage the case depending on the materials it was made from. 

 

-Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neutrons, cosmic rays and radiation are as organic as it gets.  They permeate the universe naturally.  That's why I always wear tin foil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diatomaceous earth is a great product.  You can use it to treat bed bugs in your home.  Dunno how effective it is in the big picture though...an insect has to get enough on it to kill it.  Slow kill too, so you don't always know how well a particular treatment was.

 

BUT...it isn't 100% safe.  Just the way all the little sharp edges slice and dice the insect...they also slice and dice you.   Dry hands are common - AND lung damage is possible (albeit mild unless you're sniffing the DE).

 

So...if you put it in your viola...and your viola is by your face...and you breathe it in (even if you don't see it)...you can get some irritation. 

 

IMO...not worth doing since the viola itself is unlikely to host a bed bug.  And don't forget the bed bugs you have to worry about are pregnant females.  The odds drop even lower that a pregnant female would find her way into your viola.

 

Again...unless you're sleeping with it.  Then, much more likely.

 

People bring bed bugs home in their luggage all the time...because the bed bugs hang around the bed/bedding and in the cracks and crevices (baseboards) along the floor by the bed.  Guess where we put our luggage?

 

When a place is heavily infested...the bed bugs will range a bit further looking for food (which is how they spread from apartment to apartment).   So you can get infested by your neighbours.  Bringing in 2nd hand upholstered furniture is another way...

 

I'll stop now... :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  I went over to the Air and Space Museum and pretended I like the hanging propaganda, well I do like the planes. 

Good, you must not be completely evil after all.   :P  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

When a place is heavily infested...the bed bugs will range a bit further looking for food (which is how they spread from apartment to apartment).   So you can get infested by your neighbours.  Bringing in 2nd hand upholstered furniture is another way...

 

I'll stop now... :ph34r:

 

 

Are violas one of the main foods of bed bugs? 

 

This really sounds like an aborted Country Western song from the early 1970's - 'Bed bugs and Violas' - A ballad about a classical violinist who left a tenured chair position to follow his heart and play viola for Merle Haggard. 

 

Beg bugs & violas, thats the life I know, 

Once I was a player in a big time orchestra, 

 

someone finish it......please...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neutrons, cosmic rays and radiation are as organic as it gets.  They permeate the universe naturally.  That's why I always wear tin foil.

Tin foil, which will filter alphas and betas, works nicely if one is skulking in a deep salt mine that will stop the other stuff we are discussing.  FWIW, my Scintrex BGS-1 (which is a very sensitive scintillation counter, and sees things other counters will miss) shows a background count around 25 hits a second just here in my living room (most of it probably cosmic rays).  [On the ISS one supposes it would go absolutely bats***].  Have a nice paranoid day!  :P

 

If you meet be behind the MiG15 I won't tell anyone you are really a closeted Marxist. 

 

Nahhh, let's meet over by the Discovery, and I'll tell you what I did in the Enterprise cockpit while it was hangared at Edwards.  :P  :lol:  :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are violas one of the main foods of bed bugs? 

 

...

No. But the violist may be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.