Building a Dermestarium

Submitted by joeym on 6/29/06 at 9:30 PM. ( joeym@ra.msstate.edu ) 65.12.40.160

I am building a dermestarium for beetles capable of holding large antlered animals. I have read that fiberglass epoxy resin is good for lining the inner walls. Hopefully, it is slick enough to keep the beetles from climbing out. My box is 24"x48"x18"deep. On the bottom I used fiberglass matting in the epoxy. On the sides, I did not use the fiberglass matting, because the matting appered to provide traction, which I do not want. Is there anyone out there who has constructed one of these. How many applications of resin do I need to apply. I sure do not want them tunneling out. The box itself is constructed of 7/16 OSB.
Thanks in advance.

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Vasaline around the top will keep them from climbing out

This response submitted by Roadkill on 6/30/06 at 12:25 AM. ( gossard@gtelco.net ) 205.208.231.196

but, you will still need a lid over it to keep them from flying out.
If you are using thick enough plex glass, the epoxy will hold just fine, as will silicone. If you are using thin plex glass, it will need maybe a aluminum frame around the edges to hold it together.
The epoxy with fiberglass reinforcment will work, but you will still have to scratch up the surface to get it to stick better. I would use a few layers, and I would maybe consider putting it around the outside, not the inside.
But, really, silicone will hold it together just fine, and it will give a little and keep the bond from breaking too. You will just have to make sure it is completely cured as the acid that comes off the curing silicone will kill the bettles.


A Pretty Good Set-up

This response submitted by ABC on 6/30/06 at 10:45 AM. ( ) 12.75.49.7

I've used this method for a long time with minimal problems, though I'd suggest plywood over OSB.

One good, solid coat of resin should do the trick, but there's no harm in two. Make sure it is completely cured. The resin is slick, but there is always that tenacious climber who will make it to the top and the tenacious chewer who will bore into the resin. But this type of box is just as good as any other and provides for a lot of space quickly and cheaply. I've also had good luck using paste wax around the inside, and buffing it, which keeps the sides slick.

The best prevention is keeping the beetles happy and well fed.

A top is necessary as much to keep other insects out as to keep the beetles in.


I have totally lined

This response submitted by joeym on 6/30/06 at 9:08 PM. ( ) 65.12.40.160

the container with fiberglass resin . It took 1 & 1/2 gallons of resin. The 7/16" OSB (oriented strand board or waferboard) holds the resin really well. The sides seem really smooth compared to the Sterlite containers I have used up to this point. I plan to use 80% shade mesh screen in a frame to cover the top. I will report back to this string when I put a few beetles in it to see if they can climb up the sides. Thanks for your input ABC & Roadkill.


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