Submitted by Shane P. on 7/25/01. ( )

When I arrived at my shop this morninig I noticed the feet of a bird standing on driftwood had all the webbing completely eaten off. The driftwood was bought from a supplier. The bird had only been mounted 2.5 weeks. After removing the bird from my shop I noticed another bird standing on driftwood I had collected myself that had been mounted for approximately 2 yrs. had been attacked at the webbing also. The webbing was fine last week. I noticed the older piece of driftwood had a few tiny holes in it I hadn't noticed before. The bird and wood was removed immediately. This second bird was sitting next to 4 or 5 pieces of commercialy bought driftwood. I have never noticed any problems with this before and have never had a customer complain. The mounts I have on the wall waiting to be picked up show no problems at all. I believe this is a recent development since the first bird has only been out of the freezer for 2.5 weeks. The drif commercial driftwood has been in my shop for about 12 weeks. I have searched the archives but didn't get all the answers I needed.

My questions are:
1. Are these dermitcids or another bug?
2. Could they have came from the wood?
3. If not the wood, how could I have gotten them?
4. Although the other mounts in my shop show no effects, what should I do to ensure my customers have no problems?

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Something buggin' you!

This response submitted by Rich on 7/25/01. ( )

It sounds like the dermestid beetles have found the eatable parts of your birds.They will find any part that is not properly preserved just by their keen sense of smell.Make sure you inject your feet well with formalin or an injecting solution found on the markets and the take a cotton swab with the solution to the webbing,let dry for a week or so then paint.This should stop the problem in it's tracks!There are many species of dermestids here in the US so no mount is safe.

Sounds more like mice.

This response submitted by John C on 7/25/01. ( )

While bugs could have done the damage. Which normally takes a few weeks, mice can do it over-nite. The same crap happend to a gadwald of mine recently. It was mice. Some great stuff out called "ONE BITE" it is a wax bar with grain and poison, really works fast.

Call pest control?

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 7/25/01. ( )

I have been lucky so far, but if I ever see a bug or a sign of one, this place will be fumigated before sundown. Professionally! I think it would be a small price compared to the potential damage.
Also, years ago before I knew to inject feet, I had some damage exactly like you describe and it turned out to be roaches. They only ate the feet and didn't chew off the feathers like dermestid beetles.
I was in Houston then, and they were the BIG roaches. [I think] I don't think you have to do anything wrong to get roaches in TX. I always thought they were a sort of airborne disease. <G>
John C. could very well be right about the mice too.
My best advice, whatever you do, is ACT FAST!
Nancy M.

agree with john

This response submitted by brice on 7/25/01. ( michelew@netwitz.net )

i have seen this in bird mounts as well and the same symptoms you described pointed to mice in our cases. one clue...... you mentioned that your wall mounts hadnt been bothered........ buy some poison and bug bombs. get rid of all your pests.


another question.

This response submitted by Shane P. on 7/25/01. ( riverbotomstaxidermy@Yahoo.com )

I came back to the computer to add to my original message to find my new question already answered. I normally use bug foggers approximately every other month and had decided to do it again today. While setting them up, I investigated the table where my driftwood is kept and discovered quite a few mouse droppings. Then I remembered last week I had a mouse get caught in the bottom of my trash can that I turned loose outside. (My 2yr. old called it a turtle.) I believe mice are the culprit because it has happend so suddenly and the as mentioned the wall mounts are untouched.
What type of indications would I have if the feet had been eaten by the bugs, other than the obvious damage?


This response submitted by TAKE NO SURVIVORS on 7/25/01. ( TELL THEM YOU MEAN BUSINESS )

Shane: If you knew for sure that the day before everything was fine and this was a blitz overnight then I would lean in the direction of the mouse theory, dermistid beetle infestion will probably lead to some clues if they are the problem. One its the larvae that do the damage, little fuzzy worm looking thing, so if you have an infestation of carpet beetles there should be some remaining cast off skins, and since the adults aren't long lived, dead beetles. These are alot smaller than you would imagine about the size of #2 shot usually black sometimes with white spots. Where the damage occurred there should be a fine brownish powder like sawdust, its called frass. That is what your ducks feet were before it went through the intestional tract of the larvae. If you conclude that its a dermistid problem check around the burrs of any antlers you have that still have the raw scalp on them, and they love sheep for some reason I know that the hard way. There is a product put out by Raid called the Fumigator....this is NOT an aresol fogger but it produces a DRY fog of posionious gas that was developed for roaches, believe me it will knock the socks off of spiders, and beetles, and I suspect anything that happens to be in the room bug wise.....wally world has it along with most larger supermarkets, comes in a blue box with 3 cartridges that you put a premeasured amount of water in and then insert the cartridge. Cost is 10-12 dollars. This looks like a miniture oil filter....it takes about 30 seconds then a chemical reaction starts sending off this cloud of white gas, READ and follow the instructions. This will take 3 hours. Repeat treatment again in about 3-4 weeks cause if the beetles have laid any eggs, and if you find dead beetles they have already laid, the cycle will repeat itself. If your problem is the driftwood and it could harbor bug problems, isolate it in a plastic lawn bag or if you have too much place it in an outbuilding and treat with one of the fumigators, that should eliminate that problem, course if its mice, some cheese and a trap will get that job done. I leave a "loaded" trap placed out of view in my collection year round, just as insurance.


This response submitted by Lee Duet on 7/25/01. ( )

Mice will also climb walls to get to food. I actually caught a mouse eating one of my mounts foot in my shed. Thank god it was an old mount for me.

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