I've read quite a bit in the archives about using fire ants to clean deer skulls. I'm thinking of trying this, however, I couldn't fine any mention of how much time the average skull takes to be cleaned. Can anyone give me an estimate on the average time it takes? Thanks, John
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I use the ants for cleaning my personal collection of skulls and bones. Alot of it depends on whether you have set up a colony in a tank, or using natures ants. I use the ones nature has provided. I encase my skulls/bones into a cage made of small wire and use screen for the bottom (to catch small bones and teeth). I tie a rope or chain onto the cage and set them on top of an ant mound-tying the rope to a tree so nothing tries to run off with the goodies.
When using the ants the way i do, you can expect about 1-2 months cleaning time during the summer..and longer during the winter months. When they are cleaned, you just untie the rope and drag the cage out of the ants and gently hose the skulls off to remove the ants. Then you can do any cleaning missed and whiten.
I would prefer to use an inside beetle colony, however due to my shop setup i am unable to use beetles at this time. Hopefully it won't be too long though..lol.
Hope this helps,
Branodn Wildlife Studio
Thanks Shelia. This is exactly what I needed. John