Work With Dermestid Beetles
Dermestid Beetles & Larvae Work to Clean Skulls & animal bones. Your Dermestid Larvae feed on the flesh and hide as well as internal organs. Dermestids Work at Cleaning until the Skull or Bones are completely bare. Adult Beetles eat less but reproduce. Our Dermestid Beetles are at Work Now at top universities, laboratories, museums and for taxidermy businesses and enthusiasts.
Dermestid Home: Your Beetles will arrive quickly and include a good mixture of Adult Beetles and Larvae. Your Dermestid Colony comes with bedding material that has within it the frass material, uncountable eggs and tiny larvae that begin to mature by 30 days or so. House your Dermestid Beetles in a “Rubbermaid” type bin or tub.
Choose a bin that will match the size of your beetle colony that you would like to have. Dermestid Beetles are not climbers. They can’t fly at all (temperatures below 80 F). They do have wings but they will remain where they are. Air holes or screening is needed. Just cut out a hole in the lid and cover it with mesh material or screening.
Bedding: A few inches of substrate is used such as Wood shavings or Shredded Paper material, A Good Bedding Substrate For Dermestid Beetles is our Wood Mulch material (Do not use Cedar) A few inches will be needed for the beetles to feel comfortable. Our bedding is good for laying eggs in. Egg cartons, foam pieces, and mattress stuffing material work good for pupating larva and will help frass material build up and insulate the colony.
Required Temperature: The required temperature for Dermestid Beetles is 72-80F they can live in temperatures that are cooler but will not multiply as rapidly. A heat mat should be utilized by placing the heat mat at a location that will create a gradient with a cool side available so they do not overheat. Beetles may be able to fly at or above 80 F though this will be easily contained.
Food: Your Beetles will be fed by you for 30-60 days before they are able to tackle projects like Cleaning Skulls or taxidermy projects. Animal material should be given daily that can be consumed within 24 hours. Do not overfeed it is important to only feed what can be consumed in 24 hours and adjust as they multiply. As this is done over time the colony will develop into a voracious eating colony If no projects are available the colony can be kept alive on some dry kibble or pig ears. Dermestid beetles will consume some moist meaty flesh also but prefer it a bit dry and jerky like.
Water Source: Some water is needed from time to time, however your bins should never remain wet or moist for more than 24 hours. With a spray bottle spray the substrate every few days taking care to not use too much as water will attract mites Sprayed water should be dry within 24 hours. Water Gel Crystals for Dermestids are preferred over other water source as their is less chance of drowning or attracting mites.
Birth Cycles: Dermestids will breed the whole year given the right conditions, mainly warmth and regular feedings. With proper feedings, dry bedding and heat your beetle colony will keep growing. Females will lay hundreds of eggs in the bedding substrate and also around the feeding area. You will most likely not be able to see the eggs as they are tiny. Small larvae will hatch and begin feeding soon after. Dermestid larvae eat the most flesh. As the larvae grow they will shed their exoskeletons. Dermestid larvae pupate after reaching 10mm. They will remain within the bedding material and come out as food is provided.
Lifespan: About 60-70 days. (They can complete their life-cycle in 5-7 weeks at temperatures above 78° F)
Each female dermestid beetle can lay hundreds of eggs. The eggs are usually laid near the food source.
Purchase Dermestid Beetles to Work Cleaning Flesh From Bones & Skulls
Dermestid Beetles should be prepared for large Skull Cleaning projects by feeding for 30-60 days or giving smaller projects. Beetles work better by building up to a large skull cleaning project. This will prepare the colony to Work most effectively for you. Enough Dermestids should be purchased to build up to Work to do the job intended.
Cleaning a Rabbit Skull with Dermestid Beetles requires 4000 Beetles to effectively clean it.
Cleaning a Fox or Beaver Skull will take 8-9,000 Beetles to clean it.
Cleaning a Deer Skull will need 25-30,000 Beetles
Cleaning a Bear Skull will need 45-55,000 Beetles
It is imperative the right amount of Dermestid Beetles be Purchased. Meat that is not consumed before rotting or molding may kill your Colony. Remove the eyes, brains and skin and as much meat as possible with a knife before giving to beetles. It is imperative that the right amount of beetles must be purchased.
First time customers Please Note,
Adult Dermestid Beetles Work at producing babies and concentrate on little else besides breeding and laying eggs. For the experienced hunter or taxidermist it is realized that Dermestid Larvae Work to consume the most flesh/meat from a carcass. Due to the lifecycles you will have as many as 25-50 times as many Dermestid Larvae at any time than adult Dermestid Beetles. This is perfectly normal. Our beetles are fed on a diet that consists of slightly dried to dried meat (Think slightly freezer burned rather than jerky)
Our Dermestid Beetles are Raised on Flesh. Due to sanitary and shipping reasons our beetles are fed a dry diet consisting of dog food or cow ears ( Powdery substance in frass.) for a week or two before being shipped to you. The juvenile larvae will consume this material for several weeks and during shipment. It may take up to 30 days of feeding slightly dry meat to get them used to meat again. This is called Getting the Dermestid Colony “Hot”
When first starting your colony feed (Only) the amount of meat that can be consumed in 24 hours and slowly increase this over the course of 30-60 days before giving larger amounts or a carcass to Work with. In the interim when not feeding flesh the beetles may go on a maintenance diet consisting of some flesh interspersed with feeding dry dog food or beef/pig ears.