"Padmites" are a type of carpet beetle that emerge in instrument cases. They usually make their appearance in cases that have been closed and/or stored for a long period of time. They feast on the natural fibers of pads- which is the felt under the bladder skin.
As shown in the photos, these tiny creatures will start by eating small holes into the pads. After time, they will eventually devour the entire pad, rendering it useless and preventing your instrument from playng. Since in most instances, the instrument has been sitting around for a while, there will not be any live bugs left. A case of padmites can be determined if white dust is observed near the pads, or if small shells are seen in the crevices of the instrument and instrument case. The worst case scenario involves actually seeing live bugs crawling around. If your instrument has padmites, it's best to get it serviced and cleaned professionally before playing it.
BRASS & WOODWIND SHOP