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Beetle ?

Old 12-06-2006, 08:05 PM
  #1  
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Default Beetle ?

I was wondering if you Guy's could tell me something about these Beetle's that clean the Skull's of animal's?Were do you get them?Are they easy to keep?Are they just meat eater's? Thank's for any info
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:07 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

I could be wrong, but i dont think there are actual beatles that you get to put on your skull. I think when people talk about the beatle method they are just refering to burrying the skull under ground and letting bugs and everything eat the meat off.

I usually boil mine but that can make the skull fragile if you get the water too hot. If you have time i think that burrying it is better for the skull.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:13 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

Well I've seen some beetlesdown in Texas that man they just smell blood or something I don't know from where they come from but as soon as the deer starts bleeding they come from everywhere, they are black and they start eating all the blood and everything on their way (flesh I mean).
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

They are called dermestid beetles and you can order them from taxidermy supplies houses. They will clean a skull like nobody's business.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

ORIGINAL: aeroslinger

They are called demestid beetles and you can order them from taxidermy supplies houses. They will clean a skull like nobody's business.
Wow, i didnt know there were actual beetles you could order...
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:22 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

CSI Las Vegas talks about them sometimes. Are they expensive? I have a mule deer head, it has never had anything done to it, the guy that I got it from shot it and he just cut it off and was gonna get it european mounted, but he didn't, now it is all dried and I was wondering how to clean it up, would beattles work or just try cleanin with water?
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:27 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

There not expensive, they stink and are a pain the the rear. But if you don't mind that they do a great job on cleaning up a skull.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

Yes they are dermistid beetles, and you can get them at taxidermy supply stores. I ordered mine from a business that does skulls, they have a starter kit they send, and you get them started. The larvae(babies) is what does most of the eating, the adults will eat some, but mostly breed, and they do multiply quickly. They need warm dry environment, and from what I saw with mine, they will eat anything on or in the skull. The ones I had stunk so bad, you dont want them in your house or near it for that matter, I mean the meat they are eating is decaying while they eat it, but I guess if you had enough of them they would clean a skull before it had time to rot, but on average mine took 1-2 weeks for them to completely clean a skull, but I didnt have a large colony, or the perfect setup. I kept mine in a shed outside in large rubbermaid plastic totes, which were big enough to put in a couple skulls and put the lid back on. In cool weather I kept a heat lamp on the totes to keep them from getting cold. They did a great job of cleaning skulls, and I made a little extra money with them each year, but got tired of trying to find stuff to keep them fed through the late spring and summer months when I had no skulls to clean, and the smell was terrible so I gave my colony to a buddy who was interested,, but it didnt take him long to get rid of them.. One thing to remember is to freeze the skulls for a week or so after they are cleaned, to make sure all the beetles and larvae that may be left in the skull are dead and dont get into your home, and possibly on other mounts. They can destroy other mounts, and I was told they will eat holes in material, clothes, and even wood, but I never tested them out on that.. Hope I helped out some, let me know if you have any more questions.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:40 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Beetle ?

I am not sure if the beetles could eat a scull thats been dried out? The fur /skin can get pretty hard on a scull if just left to dry. Maybe you can boil it to soften it up then cool it. Then maybe put the beetles on it?

I would post this in the taxidermy forum. They could lead you in the right direction!

Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Beetle ?

When I had mine, a guy brought me a skull that had hung in his shed for a year,, and like the one you mentioned, it was completely dried out. I put it in with the beetles, with a couple other skull, and yes they did eat it,, but it took them a long time, it took them about a month to completely clean it off, but it looked just like the rest of the skulls when they were finished, I was surprised they cleaned it that well, but it didnt matter to them if it was dry.
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