BUG Don't risk boiling your trophy skull; opt for a safe beetle skull cleaning process with dermestid beetles!

Beetle Power: Maximizing Efficiency in Dermestid Beetle Colonies

Tips to breed a beetle colony for skull cleaning:

  • Room Temperature is ideal for beetles
  • Favorite dish: Fresh dried meat the consistency of jerky.
  • Dermestids cannot fly at temperatures below 80 degrees
  • Avoid wet meat
  • A strong colony of dermestid beetles ( above 1000) will clean a deer skull in about 5 days.
  • Museum mites are the enemies of dermestid beetles.
  • Dermestids thrive only on fresh meat.
  • Water them using a spray bottle
  • The best enclosure for dermestid beetles is a small (10-gallon) aquarium, with a screened top.

How do I count my dermestid beetles?

You can put a piece of bologna on a potato masher and place in a tank. When the bologna is covered, pull it out and dump into container. Usually you get approximately 500 flesh eating beetles for each dump.

Adult dermestid beetle   Larval dermestid beetle

Adult and larval dermestid beetles. The larva is the worker; the adult's role is to produce more larvae.
Web Resources
Cyril Moore Science Center

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