For the last seven years, when winter comes (and the cold weather) I notice small bugs (about half a millimeter) strolling my classical guitar.

They are whitish and I don't see any apparent damage to the guitar but am concerned that they might damage it somehow and also it bothers me they are there.

Does anyone know what these might be? (and if they damage the instrument somehow, and why only in the winter?)

(The reason I'm asking after so many years is that this site didn't exist then).

I'm not sure this question is appropriate in this site.

2 Answers 2


We have a very old Gibson mandolin, and we had a problem with some bugs. The bugs would eat some kind of glue that they used to make the mandolin, and it eventually collapsed in. When our mandolin was repaired a few years back, we left mothballs in the case for a while to keep anything out. The mandolin / case smell like mothballs now, but I haven't noticed any bugs.

  • 1
    uhhh... hope that's not my case. Did the bugs only appear with cold weather?
    – jackJoe
    Nov 28, 2011 at 14:34
  • I looked around the web a bit, and I found these ( archivesalberta.org/vol16_3/cory.htm ) which come out during cold weather and eat glue ( they say normally books, but it could be instruments Iassume )
    – cutrightjm
    Nov 28, 2011 at 17:40
  • Those glue eating bugs might not be the problem though, it could be something else. There are also two good suggestions here, about taking the bugs somewhere to look at ( disregard the stupid posts and termite ones / spraying pesticides until you know for sure what they are, they could damage your instrument. ( acapella.harmony-central.com/…! )
    – cutrightjm
    Nov 28, 2011 at 17:43
  • After some search on the internet and by thoroughly examining my guitar, I'm glad to say that apparently these bugs aren't doing any glue or wood eating. Fortunately I photographed my guitar 10 years ago in detail and used those photos to compare with today's state. I'm inclined to say that the cold weather is just a coincidence, the humidity percent. is higher and I think it would be a factor for these bugs' appearance. I'm going to collect some and take to a science dep., then probably use some leafs/smells to cast them out, and finally groom my guitar more often. Thanks for your reply!
    – jackJoe
    Nov 29, 2011 at 15:13

From what I can tell, these bugs are mites. They could be the white spider mite. I can't be sure, and I'm still looking for more information...its a problem I've encountered a number of times on bagpipes. For the first time though, I found then on my own set and freaked out a little bit. There apparently is no information about how to treat these bugs on an instrument. But I clean the surfaces with isopropyl alcohol and oil the porous wood surfaces after using this harsh alchohol.

If anyone has any more info, please share.

  • It looks like the asker was able to confirm what their actual bugs were, so your answer is likely to be wrong in this particular case. If you want to point out other things future readers could look for, that might be more appropriate as a comment on the question. Nov 25, 2015 at 17:08

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