Dermestid beetle use...?

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AJMD429
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Dermestid beetle use...?

#1 Post by AJMD429 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:29 pm

Anyone here use them for deer skulls...??

We did a few years ago and I think only bought $50 or so worth of beetles (colony of 600 maybe), but I've read that you need at least 25,000 to do a deer skull. That gets pricey, but I'd assume after awhile the beetles would increase their number if you care for the colony properly.
Last edited by AJMD429 on Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dermested beetle use...?

#2 Post by Sixgun » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:47 pm

Doc,
I may be too "old school" for items that you suggested but I've always taken the "poor mans route" instead of the guy who needs it done in 2 weeks. I've done lots of deer heads, fox skulls, and even several elk just by driving a spike about a foot long through the eye ball and into the bottom of a fence post to keep other critters from dragging it away and so the ants and maggots can do what nature intended them to do.

Although I've never done it, a piece of rat wire around the whole gig, staked in, will add insurance to critter theft.

A few months and some attention to detail....provided by you, will give ya a sparking clean skull.---6
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Re: Dermested beetle use...?

#3 Post by Rusty » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:55 pm

I've done what Sixgun talks about years ago when a gopher turtle that had given up. I took the shell and put it in a rabbit pen I put over an ant hill. A couple of months later it was clean.
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Re: Dermestid beetle use...?

#4 Post by cas » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:36 pm

I cleaned a deer skull once by putting it in an eel pot and placing it out in the harbor for a couple weeks. The fish , eels and the crabs did a nice job cleaning it, but eeeeeewwww.... that rotten harbor bottom stink took months and months to go away. :shock: :|
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Re: Dermestid beetle use...?

#5 Post by Old No7 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:46 pm

You'd have to Google it, but one time at a veterinary conference there was a booth which specialized in cleaning and preparing animal skulls and complete skeletons; and for a small fee you could ship them a cleaned * skull -- and feed all their beetles.

They promised to send back a clean, white skull without any of the issues (such as loose teeth or lost bones) that boiling a skull can cause.

... * "Clean" meant no fur, fat or muscle, so you had to cut off as much as you could with a knife before shipping it...

The display had a life-size Brown Bear skeleton which was really impressive -- and sorta creepy too!

Good luck.

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Re: Dermestid beetle use...?

#6 Post by m.wun » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:19 pm

I sent a deer skull to a place in Moore Ok. called Skulls Unlimited. You just freeze the piece and send ,it couple months go by and they send a perfectly white cleaned skull back. I think I paid around 130$. LOOK them up on you tube, interesting family buisness. You can buy human skulls from them!
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