When it comes to trying to determine the right size of a dermestid beetle colony to buy, many hunters, artists, and taxidermists aren’t entirely sure what size of colony they need. Even though dermestid beetle larvae are only about 12 millimeters long, these insects can devour flesh quickly. For skull cleaning (or bigger trophies) an entire colony is required. The first thing you need to do is ensure that you buy a dermestid beetle colony from a reputable seller like Kodiak Bones & Bugs, and if you aren’t too sure on the size of colony you need, give us a call and we will gladly assist. In the meantime, this article is intended to help people get a better understanding of the right beetle colony size to best suit their needs.

What is the Most Popular Dermestid Beetle Colony Size Ordered by Hunters, Taxidermists and Artists?


Most people start with a colony of 1000 beetles. Statistics show that most hunters and other hobbyists who start out with smaller skulls graduate into larger pieces and mounts, so having a colony of 1000 beetles will get the job done, no matter how big or small. 1000 beetles can clean the flesh off a deer skull in a day or two at most, and they can remove all the flesh from a bear skull or larger head in about three days. Buying a beetle colony of 1000 insects is a safe, practical move because the numbers can handle virtually any project.


What is the Typical Beetle Colony Size Artists Invest in that Use Small Skulls?


Smaller skulls are extremely popular, as they are used in everything from art installations to furniture, and from decorative items like bookends, to candleholders, curtain rod ornaments, and a number of other random objects that artists take and make alluring. If you plan to use snake, rabbit or even fish heads, a colony of 300 beetles will be perfect. It can take half a day to a day for 300 beetles to eat the flesh from a skull the size of a baseball. In the event your orders go up and you need to double your skull production, you can buy a second dermestid beetle colony of 300 insects to speed up production.


Dermestid Beetles for Small Businesses


If you run a business that offers a skeletonization service, then investing in a dermestid beetle colony of 5000 insects would be ideal. 5000 is also a good number for hunting businesses that sell beetles and kits; based on your sales data and seasonality, you can buy dermestid beetle colonies from Kodiak containing 5000 bugs as often as you need to, to ensure you always remain in stock. In the event you don’t perform skeletonization services, you can always ship the skull to Kodiak Bones & Bugs, and we will have our beetles give your customer’s skull a professional clean and ship the item back to you in a well-packaged, safe, and speedy manner. You already know the benefits of using dermestid beetles to clean skulls and animal mounts, now you can partner with Kodiak and ensure your customers get the cleanest, healthiest beetles in the industry.


Do You have the Right Container to Support the Dermestid Beetle Colony Size You Require?


Before you buy dermestid beetle colonies, you need to make sure you have an environment proportioned to house them, and the skull sizes you intend to be working with. If you are an artist that’s going to be working with small skulls using a beetle colony of 300 bugs, then a 30- gallon glass aquarium or heavy-duty plastic tub will suffice. If you are a hunter or taxidermist, and you plan on investing in a colony of 1000 beetles, then a 100-gallon aquarium or tub would be ideal. Just be aware that the sealant material aquarium makers apply to the corners enable the beetles to climb up the sides, so be sure to apply a thin layer of vaseline to the corners to prevent any climbers. Be sure to keep the environment in a room that has a consistent temperature in the mid-70s (anything over 80 degrees and the beetles can fly), and make sure the humidity is in the 30s to 40s, and never exceed 60.


Call Kodiak Bones & Bugs for the Healthiest Dermestid Beetle Colony, Customized to Meet Your Needs


Still not sure what dermestid beetle colony size you need? Give Kodiak Bones & Bugs a call and once we learn about your hobby, certain specifics, and your current and future needs, our expert will be able to pair you with the right colony size. We can also outfit you with a care guide, a container, and give you the best tips on how to set up your own custom beetle colony sanctuary. Call today!

If you are an artist that uses smaller animal skulls in your art pieces, then you could get away with a colony of 300 beetles.

How many beetles do I need? For those desiring to do a single skull, or just a couple, the 300+ beetle colony may be appropriate. This size colony is intended to be a beginner colony, which would allow the colony to be grown in a few weeks to the point where a deer/bear sized skull or two could be effectively cleaned.

Beetle larvae are just 12 millimeters long, but they can consume flesh quickly. When you are considering a large specimen such as an animal skull, an entire colony of insects is required.

1. For a single skull, a colony of at least 300 beetles is necessary. This is the minimum to get started with a beginner colony. The colony can then feed off available flesh and grow. You can buy beetles online and watch them flourish. After a few weeks, there may be enough beetles to consume one or two deer or bear skulls.

2. If you’re expecting your beetles to tackle larger projects, then you should start with a colony of 1,000 or more. Taxidermists, forensic professionals, and hunters most often start with this amount to support their operations.
3. A production quantity would be on the order of 5,000 or more individual beetles for small businesses that provide skeletonization services. You can also send a specimen to us for skull cleaning, and we’ll put the bugs to work, and then send the finished product back to you.