Dermestid Beetles For Cleaning Bones
Dermestid beetles are interesting bugs. There are many species of them, and they occur naturally all over the world. They will eat partially dry and moist animal flesh. They will literally clean every nook and cranny of flesh, leaving the bones clean and relatively white. For taxidermy and cleaning bones, the dermestid beetle species dermestes maculatus provides the best solution.
There are lots of reasons why someone may want to clean and preserve the skulls of animals.
- Natural History and Wildlife Museums may want to show a variety of skulls for comparison.
- Educational Institutions will use skulls for anatomy studies.
- Zoos may have unique animals while they are still alive. Their uniqueness can continue after death.
- Artists may use animal skulls to convey certain feelings and ideas.
- Animal lovers and bereaved pet owners may want to remember that wonderful friend they had through taxidermy.
Cleaning skulls with dermestid beetles is relatively odor-free and clean, and the beetles will not damage the bones. The beetles typically only eat flesh and other soft organics, though they might not eat some organs. They also will not eat feathers, fur, skin or dried blood. They sometimes get other peculiar likings to other organic things, so some care must be taken that they do not get out of their containers by either crawling or flying out.
As mentioned, they are relatively odor-free. But if the colony is not large enough to quickly consume the meat given them, that could stink! Also, when consuming brain material they can give off have a peculiar odor, so they will need to be kept in a well-ventilated area that will not bother people.
Colonies of them are relatively easy to keep. Put them into a large hard plastic tote container, give them the right amounts of flesh, water, and proper air circulation. They will need a kind of substrate to live within, which may be as simple as shredded paper or styrofoam. Keep them neither too hot nor too cold, and your colony will last a long time. The dermestes maculatus beetle is least likely to fly when their living temperatures are under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are most active in temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees. Because of their easy upkeep, they are by far the preferred way to clean bones and skulls.
It is easy for mites and mold to harm colonies of the beetles, so those who want to buy them must be careful about their suppliers. Kodiak Bones and Bugs Taxidermy has been a reliable, ethical source of dermestes maculatus beetles for over 15 years. The best beetles and colony growth assistance comes from their friendly and knowledgable service.