Dermestid beetles are a specialized species of beetle that eats only animal flesh. Dermestid beetles are the longstanding preferred method of preparing skulls, used by many museum and university collections around the world. Preparing skulls with Dermestid beetles has several advantages over other methods, such as boiling or composting.
Dermestid beetles (it’s actually the larvae) remove flesh from the deepest recesses of the skull, without necessitating the use of tools, which can leave tool marks and damage delicate structures, such as nasal bones. (Many skull cleaning services actually completely destroy and remove these delicate nasal bones. We strongly believe these structures are an integral part of what makes a bear or deer what they are!)
Your trophy will have absolutely no unpleasant smell, because all traces of meat are removed, and no emulsified fats are impregnated into the bone. Cleaning with beetles does not allow bone structures or suture lines to be unnaturally weakened, or teeth loosened or subject to cracking. Boiling also has been shown to shrink skulls!
If you want a high quality trophy, consider having your trophy prepared by Dermestid beetles, and Kodiak Bones & Bugs Taxidermy.
Kodiak Bones & Bugs Taxidermy is a professional, licensed, family operated taxidermy service, specializing only in quality skull cleaning and European mounts, using the time tested methods of dermestid beetles. We would like to contribute to your Kodiak hunt by professionally cleaning and preparing your trophy’s skull for proud display.
If you live off-Island, there is no need to pay excess baggage fees, risk loss or damage on the airlines, or deal with a smelly skull upon return home. We will gladly meet you at the end of your hunt, or we can make arrangements with your guide or charter service to obtain your trophy. Cleaning is generally completed within 10-12 weeks. However, some bears are particularly difficult to degrease, and may take up to 24 weeks.
When completed, your trophy will be carefully packaged, and shipped via priority mail, or by the shipment method of your choice. You will be contacted at the time of shipping and provided a mailing/ delivery confirmation number.
Your trophy is tagged with an identification tag, to assure your accountability. (Bear skulls must also have the required ADFG seal affixed prior to cleaning.) We employ several quality control measures to insure no beetles or larvae remain alive in the skull when the cleaning is completed.
We are confident you will find we offer high quality services at competitive prices.