Ants in my melodica

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    Marcia C.

    Help! I put my melodica on the kitchen floor, and ants crawled in the case and some into my melodica. How do I get them out? There are some still in the blow hole. I currently have it outside, leaning against a bench, and tilted a bit, to let the ants crawl out. I’m afraid I’m going to have to open it up, and I’ve never done that before. I’m afraid to even blow into it, because I’m afraid I will blow them into the works. Sigh.

    David I Am

    Right, relax, its okay. You can do this. Melodica is a simple instrument, and they aren’t difficult to disassemble.

    You’re going to likely need a small screwdriver and a medium screwdriver. technically ‘0.5’ ‘1’ and ‘2’ Phillips drivers will usually fit all the various screws.

    Get yourself a magnet to hold screws, it’ll come in handy. My favorite is a clump of those bucky balls magnet toys.

    First, remove the case screws. These may be at the end caps – such as the suzuki melodion – or they may be straight into the case in recessed holes as on many generics, the hohner, and the yamaha pianica.

    Once you separate the innards from the outards, you’ll find more screws to undo.

    Melodicas have a sound chamber in which there are several plates with reeds on them. You will need to open this compartment, revealing the reeds. Be gentle as you open this up, there will be a gasket around the edges (probably) to ensure there is no air leakage. You’ll be wanting to reuse this!

    Inside you will find more screws holding the plates down. STOP. I can’t imagine that there will be any need to remove the sound plates from the melodica. That said, they are fastened down with screws (usually quite tightly) and have some more gasketry going on underneath. be careful.

    Once its open, clean gently and mildly. You can run water over it, but don’t get excited with lots of soap or wiping – these tiny metal reeds vibrate to make your sound. If you bend them, they won’t work! Shake the most of the water off and let it dry thoroughly in your dishrack or sommat, then reverse your disassembly procedure to assemble it. Attach mouthpiece and VOILA! Pure sweet sounds of happiness!

    Keep tootin, you can do this thing!


    Marcia C.

    Thank you. My husband and I took it apart, and we used an air can to clean it. He did manage to bend one reed, but it’s a low G sharp, which I don’t think I ever play. So I think I’m good. Thank you for your help.

    Alan Brinton

    I’d probably be okay without the G#, but I’d be lost without my Ab.

    Ants are often in search of water, so they were probably in your melodica for the moisture, which would explain why they were around the reeds. For future reference, the best solution might be to just take it apart and leave it out in the sun or a warm dry room to dry out, which would hasten their departure and not kill them. You don’t want dead ants in there. I doubt that they could be lured out, but a piece of raw meat or something sweet might do it, depending on which type of ants they are or what phase they’re in. The longer the melodica sits out there exposed to them, the more ants will be invited in by their friends. So you want to get it away from their trade route.

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