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Discussion Starter #1
I recently sent out a clarinet for repair and just found out that the instrument is moth infested.

What exactly does this mean? Is the clarinet now done for? What has to be done to get rid of the moths? Is there anything I could possibly do myself in order to avoid a costly repair bill?
 

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When I got my metal clarinet, the felt pads had been eaten on by moths. Have the horn cleaned and overhauled to included cleaning the bore and all the tone holes. Have all pads and cork replaced. And trash the case unless it's valuable (Selmer, Buffet, etc.). I would worry a little bit about fumigation since the insecticide will permeate the horn, reeds and your mouthpiece. If you need to save the case by fumigation, be very very careful about the insecticide you use.
 

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I was taking a repair class recently where the tech told me he hadn't ever found a great solution to get rid of them, as these guys are REALLY persistent. As mentioned above, trash the case and replace all the pads.
 

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the keywork should be taken off and be chemically cleaned (which will strip off the cork and other adjustment materials). So you'll end up with a complete overhaul not just a repad.

as long as the wood is not damaged you should be fine.

I would through out the case. I'm allergic to chemical pollutions and wouldn't even bother with fumigation (I use a local store for chemical cleaning). cases are easily replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the tips so far everyone.

I'm willing to attempt the repad/keywork cleaning myself, but will still need to have the instrument itself cleaned/treated to get rid of these darn pests. I'm pretty sure these are wooden clarinets, so does anyone know about how much that might cost me?

My original quote was $375 (the moth treatment plus overhaul), which was more than half the original cost of the instrument. I'm trying to get the price down as low as possible!
 

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I can't really comment about the price because the US dollar keep changing in comparison with here (and I don't know much about prices in USA anyway) but washing the clarinet is much easier than repadding it. You just remove all the keys and corks and wash the body with not too hot water with soap like dish washing soap. Don't worry about the wood, as long as you don't leave it submerged in the water for days (and wood only crack from being dry, not wet). Just use the soapy water to wash it with a brush and maybe let it be in the water for a little while if you want (might kill the moth? I don't know). I'd remove all the pads and corks from the keys and wash them too the same way. Just make sure to keep all the screws (preferably mark the pivot screws) and be careful if you leave the springs on, they will stab you!
 

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Moth infested clarinets are very common if they have been in storage for long periods. The moths ate the wool in the pads, not the leather.
If you want to do the work yourself it's not as intimidating as it sounds.
Once the clarinet, I'm assuming it's a Bb soprano, is disassembled wash it in warm soapy water. Keys too. This removes any old coccoons that may be in the bore and tone holes. Repad as usual.
The case isn't as bad as it sounds. No need for pestdicides. A thorough vacuuming is usually all that is needed. If you want, use a foaming spray carpet/appolstry shampoo according to directions to clean and freshen the lining.
I've done this with probably a half dozen clarinets with NO reinfestation.
If you're still worried after this is all done, put a small Cedar block in the case as a profilactic.
 

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I cannot agree with those who say you should throw the case out. They may be "easily replaced", but a good case is expensive. Just put it in the deep freezer for 24 hours, and any moth eggs present will be completely annihilated (this is how the high class furriers used to, and perhaps still do, cure the moth in their wealthy customers' furs, charging a considerable sum for the "treatment"!
 

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What I had been told was that you needed to put the case into a real deep freezer, which goes to a lower temperature than the standard home freezer. (I don't recall what the required temperature is to kill these buggers, and don't have the article hand at the moment). This makes it difficult for most home do it yourselfers to take this on effectively.

I suppose you can try it and see if it works for you. Good luck. Wrap it well, you don't want them in the ice cream!
 

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if you go the route of throwing out the case just go to your local music store ... see if they have spare used cases to sell - they usually have a bunch.

with ebay you really never know what you are getting in used cases. I've gotten some great ones for real cheap.

so how much does a deep, deep freezer cost vs case replacement ? and what happens if the moths are wearing fur coats ? does it require a super deep freezer ? :D
 

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I can only say that when a few years back I was unwise enough when temporarily homeless to put some expensive clothes into store for a couple of years, from which they came back variously infested with moth, I put those which were salvageable, although damaged, into my domestic deep freezer for a day or two, and the moth in them was completely eradicated (i.e. no moths appeared the following spring, and no more moth damage appeared).
 

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Icarius said:
I cannot agree with those who say you should throw the case out. They may be "easily replaced", but a good case is expensive. Just put it in the deep freezer for 24 hours, and any moth eggs present will be completely annihilated (this is how the high class furriers used to, and perhaps still do, cure the moth in their wealthy customers' furs, charging a considerable sum for the "treatment"!
Brilliant! Cheers for this!
 

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Well, if you live where I do you need to keep in mind that winter is coming and to find temperatures lower than a deep freeze yo need only open your front door. Failing that (if you reside in FL or TX) you might consider dry ice. First the caution; I have never used it for anything other than blowing up plastic pop bottles so I really do not know if it will discolour the material or not so check it out and perhaps somebody else will weigh in on this. Anyhow, I figure if you dump some chips in the case and close the lid you will fumigate it by replacing the O2 with CO2 and you will freeze the little buggers out...
Good luck.
 
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