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Just a bit of information to pass along. I recently took a job rebuilding the action of a Chickering Ampico A. This unit was seriously infested with gritters. The damage was so severe that I elected to have it tested by Rutgers Cooperative Extension at Cook College, NJ.
The results follow:
DIAGNOSIS AND/OR RECOMMENDATIONS:
Several insects were identified in the debris from the piano. One drain fly, Psychoda sp., was found. Drain flies are normally found in dark, moist areas and feed on rotted organic matter. A carpet beetle larval case, Anthrenus spp., was found. Carpet beetle larvae feed on the keratin and chitin commonly found in wool, fur, or feathers. Carpet beetle larvae can cause significant damage. The larvae of a brown house moth, Hofmannophila spp., was also identified. The brown house moth is a widespread and versatile pest that also feeds on wool, fur, or feathers. Based on the amount of excrement and silk residue, we feel that the moth is the primary pest involved in the destruction of the piano (action).
Clean all internal parts of the piano. Treat all surfaces with malathion, diazinon, bendiocarb, or pyrethrins. Prevent reinfestation by spreading napthalene or PDB crystals inside the piano. Monitor the house for other infested areas and treat as necessary.
I hope you all enjoyed this tasty treat. Sounds yummy!! The diagnostician, Rich Buckley, said that most of the chemicals he mentioned are available at a Home Depot type store but he warned that I should read the contents and directions carefully before purchasing anything. Naturally, my main concern is for customer safety and then piano suitability.
Also, I should add that I took the action to three pest control companies and the NJ Dept. of Agriculture before being advised to seek professional diagnosis. No one was able to identify the cause of the problem until Rutgers performed the tests on samples they took themselves directly from the action.
In closing, this is a common sight here in New Jersey. I would venture to estimate that 90% of all instruments made before 1930 have some degree of damage. But it's nice to know that throwing some moth flakes into the piano will keep them nasty old moths out.
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Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.
407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
Phone Number 732-840-8787