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Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts #2433520
03/13/18 02:13 PM
03/13/18 02:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
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LuckyGoose Offline OP
spike
LuckyGoose  Offline OP
spike
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Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
I have an established colony of beetles that I can split from.

I can sell "2 oz." starter colonies that will take about 2 months to expand to the point they can clean a deer skull in 5-7 days (my colony started this way by being fed duck, turkey, coyote, beaver, otter skulls, raw meat scraps etc.). This 2 oz. includes approximately 1000 adults and multiple stages of larvae. I'll then pack in cotton bedding which will contain thousands of eggs (they are too small to actually see).

Care is easy: I keep them in the basement in a clear sterilite tote just big enough to put a skull in, cotton balls for bedding, temperatures above 60 (or they won't eat much) but less than 80 (or they'll fly away), and a spritz of water 2-3 times a week. Smell is not an issue unless you overfeed them, even then it goes away in just a day or so (my wife's only mentioned the smell twice lol ). I should mention that beetles are not magic, you still have to skin the head and remove the eyes and brains (pliers, a sharp knife, and a coat hanger make this quick work). I'll let them eat most everything off the skull, take it out to soak in water for a day, and put it back in with the beetles. I end up with a nice natural bone skull.

Cost is $50 picked up. I can mail them as long as temps are above 50 or you can pick them up in Northeast AL. Add $10 to ship. If you are in a hurry to clean deer skulls and want a bigger quantity we can talk about that, but I can only pull so many from my colony. If you want to talk more about them PM your phone number. If you end up buying some I will provide you with a 'how-to' sheet with these details spelled out. Thanks.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by LuckyGoose; 03/13/18 02:14 PM.
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2433577
03/13/18 03:19 PM
03/13/18 03:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,406
Chelsea, AL
lefthorn Offline
gave the right one away to get this tag line
lefthorn  Offline
gave the right one away to get this tag line
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,406
Chelsea, AL
Man. I may be interested. Just scared to keeps these things at my house with Taxidermy in the house. Have heard they will destroy it if they get out

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2433764
03/13/18 07:24 PM
03/13/18 07:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
L
LuckyGoose Offline OP
spike
LuckyGoose  Offline OP
spike
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Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
Hmm yea they might. I keep them in the basement and a buddy of mine keeps his in a shed with a heat lamp. I'd recommend freezing the skulls again after the beetles have it cleaned.

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2433767
03/13/18 07:25 PM
03/13/18 07:25 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,208
On the X
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TickaTicka Offline
8 point
TickaTicka  Offline
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Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,208
On the X
Do you do beetle work? If so, pm me your contact info.


Public Land Owner
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2433889
03/14/18 04:00 AM
03/14/18 04:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 8,695
Trussville, AL
Irishguy Online content
a.k.a. Dingle Johnson
Irishguy  Online Content
a.k.a. Dingle Johnson
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 8,695
Trussville, AL
This is a post on here that most people outside the deer hunting world wouldn't believe is a real "Thing."

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: Irishguy] #2434047
03/14/18 08:07 AM
03/14/18 08:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,243
Central AL
BamaGuitarDude Offline
10 point
BamaGuitarDude  Offline
10 point
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,243
Central AL
Originally Posted by Irishguy
This is a post on here that most people outside the deer hunting world wouldn't believe is a real "Thing."


definitely real - just not done that much anymore since there's other non-insect ways to do a skull mount

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2434050
03/14/18 08:14 AM
03/14/18 08:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 45,000
Under a Rock
Clem Offline
Mildly Quirky
Clem  Offline
Mildly Quirky
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 45,000
Under a Rock

Just curious about this - if taxidermy mounts have tanned-finished hides and no other meat/fat or anything other than a form, how could these beetles destroy them? If a skull has to be skinned and the eyes removed for the beetles to work normally then a taxidermy mount wouldn't have anything for them to eat?

Or would they just gnaw on it anyway?


I have a hog head frozen that I'd love done but don't have time to skin it. It's been in my freezer almost three years. My wife's forgotten about it, thankfully. laugh


"Hunting Politics are stupid!" - Farm Hunter

"Bible says you shouldn't put sugar in your cornbread." Dustin, 2013

Coach Gus Malzen will have the boys ready! -- Ben2
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: Clem] #2434072
03/14/18 08:45 AM
03/14/18 08:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,894
Jackson County
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CD Offline
10 point
CD  Offline
10 point
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,894
Jackson County
Originally Posted by Clem

Just curious about this - if taxidermy mounts have tanned-finished hides and no other meat/fat or anything other than a form, how could these beetles destroy them? If a skull has to be skinned and the eyes removed for the beetles to work normally then a taxidermy mount wouldn't have anything for them to eat?

Or would they just gnaw on it anyway?


I have a hog head frozen that I'd love done but don't have time to skin it. It's been in my freezer almost three years. My wife's forgotten about it, thankfully. laugh


The skin, eyes, brain and excess flesh are removed to make the beetles more efficient and reduce rot and smell. They’d definitely eat that stuff, but it would be a slow process and rot and smell would kick in. As for mounts, the beetle larvae actually prefer a drier consistency in their food choices, thus the belief that hides would be in jeopardy. Most taxidermists who use them place a skinned head in front of a fan to get the flesh to a jerky like consistency. It’s a neat hobby, I had a colony for about a year but sold them to one of foldemup’s friends when I was moving to a new home with nowhere to keep them.

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2434253
03/14/18 11:55 AM
03/14/18 11:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 8,695
Trussville, AL
Irishguy Online content
a.k.a. Dingle Johnson
Irishguy  Online Content
a.k.a. Dingle Johnson
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 8,695
Trussville, AL
Can you not just stick deer head in a giant Ant bed?

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2434257
03/14/18 12:02 PM
03/14/18 12:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 265
Montgomery
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loprofile Offline
4 point
loprofile  Offline
4 point
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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 265
Montgomery
Beetles without a doubt do a superior job than all other methods. That is why museums use them. That being said, the skull cleaning beetles are also known as carpet beetles and can wreck a house.

Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: Irishguy] #2434630
03/14/18 07:34 PM
03/14/18 07:34 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,208
On the X
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TickaTicka Offline
8 point
TickaTicka  Offline
8 point
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Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,208
On the X
Originally Posted by Irishguy
Can you not just stick deer head in a giant Ant bed?


You can, but doesn't work as well. And the squirrels and birds and coyotes, etc destroy the rack.


Public Land Owner
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: Irishguy] #2434755
03/14/18 11:23 PM
03/14/18 11:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 10,100
Tuscaloosa
GomerPyle Offline
Stinky Britches
GomerPyle  Offline
Stinky Britches
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 10,100
Tuscaloosa
Originally Posted by Irishguy
Can you not just stick deer head in a giant Ant bed?


You can if you're not in a hurry. I did a doe head once just as an experiment. Found a big ant hill at the club, set the head on it and covered with a 5 al bucket with a cinder block on top (to keep critters away). Came back 6mo later and removed the bucket. Ants had built the hill up to totally fill the bucket. Took a stick and duck the skull out and hosed it off and it was totally clean and no smell.


"The best turkey hunting advice I can give you is to run from it like it's Crystal Meth."

Public Land Owner
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: Irishguy] #2434756
03/14/18 11:33 PM
03/14/18 11:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 31,478
Mobile/Gee's Bend
James Offline
Mini Boner
James  Offline
Mini Boner
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 31,478
Mobile/Gee's Bend
Originally Posted by Irishguy
Can you not just stick deer head in a giant Ant bed?


Yeah if ya want a dog to take off with em grin


I just came in here to have some whiskey and beer and to say howdy to you all.
Re: Dermestid Beetles for European Mounts [Re: LuckyGoose] #2439726
03/20/18 08:35 AM
03/20/18 08:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
L
LuckyGoose Offline OP
spike
LuckyGoose  Offline OP
spike
L
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 47
NE Alabama
Oh my, good stuff here.

Yes, beetles clean EVERYTHING off the skull without having to boil, pressure wash, or pick at them. These other ways can cause the skull to separate and destroy the fine nasal bones and just don't get them completely clean and they take time. I got sick of doing them this way and spending so much time and propane. Boil them too much the split and fall apart and boil them too little and you have to pick at them and not to mention boiling takes the stain off the antlers.

As for leaving them outside... that's a gamble I'm not taking on a deer I care about. You never hear the stories about partially cleaned heads, sunbaked heads, and heads that got drug off.

Last edited by LuckyGoose; 03/20/18 08:36 AM.

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