How Many Dermestid Beetles do I Need to Clean a Skull?

Whether you are a hunter and you plan to produce several European mounts this hunting season, a taxidermist, or an artist that specializes in carving animal skulls, you likely know the benefits of using dermestid beetles to clean your animal skulls.  But like most people, when it comes to how many dermestid beetles you should have, the figure can be unclear. This article will begin by introducing the benefit of dermestid beetles over other methods (in case we have some readers new to working with skulls), cover how to select the best beetles, and then jump straight into the beetle colony size you need to complete your skull cleaning projects.

Dermestid Beetles

Why are Dermestid Beetles the Best Choice for Cleaning Skulls

When it comes to cleaning skulls, there are two primary methods: dermestid beetles and boiling. Boiling is faster, but it lets out an awful odor. More importantly, boiling can degrade the integrity of the skull by causing the bone to yellow in color, and the fine, intricate little bones in the nasal cavity and eye sockets can easily get damaged. 

On the other hand, dermestid beetles work to remove every bit of hair and flesh in even the most hard-to-reach places, including the tiny bones in the nasal cavity keeping them in pristine condition. In addition, the bones won’t yellow when beetles clean them, and there is no excessive bad odor from dermestid beetle skull cleaning. 

Where Should I Buy Dermestid Beetles?

Once people understand the value of cleaning skulls with bugs, the next thing they set off to do is research to see where to buy the best dermestid beetles for skull cleaning, and this can be a challenging task. You need to buy from a reputable seller. This means they need to guarantee a clean colony free from any disease or sickness. They must be healthy, strong, and sent in an appropriate container, so they arrive in great condition. The seller should also have lots of customer testimonials supporting the quality, and, finally, the dermestid beetle seller should treat you like a partner and be on hand to answer any questions you may have when it comes to maintaining a beetle colony. Kodiak Bones & Bugs has a national reputation of being the best supplier of dermestid beetles for hunters, taxidermists and artists offering colonies of all sizes.

How Many Dermestid Beetles are Required for Cleaning Small Skulls?

Now that you know why dermestid beetles are the best option for cleaning skulls, and you know how to choose a reputable seller, your next question and the main point of this article is this: how many beetles do I need? If your operations revolve around small cleaning skulls, start with a colony of 2500 beetles. Medium-sized skulls, like beaver skulls, require about 6000 beetles, and for the average sized deer skull, a colony of 12-15,000 beetles should suffice. For large skulls, such as bear skulls, aim for 25-35,000 beetles. Using three numbers will ensure your skulls get completely cleaned, and in a timely manner considering you are taking the beetle-cleaning option. 

Can I Buy More Beetles than I Need if I am Unsure of My Future Operations?

So long as you have the right sized container, you can buy more beetles than you need for the time being. When someone anticipates doubling up on their work or going after larger trophies, they will often buy a larger colony simply to anticipate the need. This is fine, so long as you feed them as needed (scraps of dried meat or fish), and they have the right sized container. When you call Kodiak Bones & Bugs, we can help to make sure you have the perfect setup and all the care instructions necessary to excel. 

Buy More Beetles

Call Kodiak to Buy Dermestid Beetles Today

Kodiak Bones & Bugs can be your partner when it comes to all your skull-cleaning needs. We can help you prevent wild bugs from contaminating your dermestid beetle colony, ensure you have the right container, the right sized colony, and be on hand to provide you with anything you may need for as long as you are cleaning skulls. Call today, tell us about your routine and standard operations, and we will advise you on the perfect sized beetle colony you need to be successful.