You have your bear hunt schedule and are looking forward to bagging your prize bear or at least a very large one. After your bear hunt and bagging your game, you will definitely want to keep the black bear skull, Kodiak bear skull, or another bear skull as a trophy to show off to friends and family.


Being able to enjoy the bear skull, whether you have it made into a European mount and hung on the wall or have it sitting on the coffee table as a conversation piece, means you will need to make sure it is cleaned correctly. The first step to cleaning a bear skull is knowing which methods work the best and deliver superior results.

If you use the wrong methods, it can damage, destroy, or discolor the skull so that it will not be worth showing off. Even if you try to touch it up, it still may not be as great looking as you desired. Not to mention, using certain skull cleaning methods can weaken and even destroy bone structures, so the resulting cleaned skull might not even last that long.

DIY or Professional Skull Cleaning?

The objective of skull cleaning is to remove all of the soft flesh without damaging the bone. Boiling, soaking, and other such methods increase the risks of damage to the skull. For example, if you were to rapid boil a bear skull, it could fall apart. On the other hand, if you were to try to soak the skull, it could discolor the bone from the fat.

Then there is the issue of how to remove the flesh, even after it has been softened. If you use sharp or blunt tools to scrape every ounce of flesh off, it could scratch or crack the bone. In addition, the delicate bone structures could be damaged, if they have not already been destroyed.

As you can see, skull cleaning can be very challenging. If you are not sure how to do it correctly, then turn to a professional. Yet, if you want an exciting and fun DIY skull cleaning project, the best way to clean skulls is to order Dermestid beetles to establish your own colony to clean your bear skull and other game skulls.

How to Clean a Skull with Dermestid Beetles

How to Clean a Skull with Dermestid BeetlesUnlike other methods, which have you removing the skin and softening up the flesh so it can be scraped off, using Dermestid beetles to clean a bear skull is very easy. If you use a professional, you will need to remove the skin from the skull, then freeze it before shipping.

If you decide to try to clean it yourself using Dermestid beetles, you will want to remove the skin, brain, and eyes. Then you just toss it in with the beetles and they go to work. The beetles will remove all of the flesh from the bear skull. They won’t damage delicate bone structures, and the results are superior to other skull-cleaning methods.

Depending on the size of your colony, the time needed to clean the skull will vary. If you have a small colony of around 300 beetles, it can take about a month to fully clean a bear skull, compared to about two weeks with a colony of around 1,000 beetles.

To learn more about how to clean a skull with Dermestid beetles, how to order beetles, or how to prep the skull and send it to us for cleaning, please feel free to explore our website further or contact Kodiak Bones & Bugs Taxidermy at (907) 942-2847 today!