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Dermistid Beetle Setup??

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by MuleyCrazed, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. MuleyCrazed

    MuleyCrazed New Member

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    So I am thinking about purchasing dermistid beetles for skull cleaning. I've done some research on the internet to find out how to care for and keep beetles and I have found some good information. However, I am curious to know what all you professionals do to keep and manage your beetle colonies? If you have pictures of containers or setups that you have I would like to see them. Thanks for your input in advance!

    MuleyCrazed
     
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Bug House...

    [​IMG]

    Bug Box...

    [​IMG]

    Bug Heater...

    [​IMG]

    Bug Thermometer...

    [​IMG]

    Bugs falling off skull back into box...

    [​IMG]


    That's all Folks!
     

  3. MuleyCrazed

    MuleyCrazed New Member

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    Thanks for posting joeym!

    MuleyCrazed
     
  4. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

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    NM
    Hello Joey, does it cost an arm and a leg to run that heater 24/7 in order to keep the temp. around 80 degree during the cold months? Thanks
    Regards, Geno
     
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I don't know, LOL! The power to that building comes off my home, so I really don't have any idea what it cost annually or monthly. The building is super insulated, so the heater cycles on and off during the day and night. Same goes for air conditioning. The unit comes on and off as the thermostat dictates. The building is only an 8X8X7 ft ceiling, so thats 450 cubic feet to heat and cool
     
  6. RedFoxTrapper

    RedFoxTrapper New Member

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    Do you have a cover for your box? Or do you just let the adult beatles fly off?
     
  7. Pinebear

    Pinebear New Member

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    I was wondering that too. Thanks for the great pics and info joey.
     
  8. brohnson

    brohnson New Member

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    They wont fly at 80 degrees and if they do they will find their way back to the meat for sure.
     
  9. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I have never successfully regulated the humidity with a cover on the box. Nor does having a cover keep beetles in and other stuff out. Fortunately, the time of the year that I have a maximum population of beetles, most other problematic insects are in hibernation.
     
  10. Zerk

    Zerk Member

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    U.P.
    I found it interesting that they die in the cold, instead of hibernate. Adds more of challenge up north.
     
  11. bigbucktn

    bigbucktn New Member

    how long does it take for that many bettles to clean a single skull...that is a pretty neat set up
     
  12. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    24 hours if the skull is properly prepped...bottom jaw removed, eyes removed, brains flushed out, and about two minutes of trimming meat off cheek and top back of skull. Those bugs have cleaned 18 skulls and countless skull caps (I put antlers in there and let them clean all the meat off the skull cap) since December 9. I leave all skulls in there 4 days. Each day, I add a skull, and remove a skull. The bugs are booked solid through February 15, and the skulls keep coming!
     
  13. kermmie30

    kermmie30 New Member

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    Hello. Taking over a business for an elderly man who wishes to retire. He sends his skulls off to be cleaned. I don't see the logic in that. I am willing to do the beetle colony thing because I have the space to do it. (60x80 barn) and I have one area that I can section off and insulate, etc to have the area confined and more temperature controlled. I am seeking any advice that anyone is willing to share. Any sites to research. Any leads on how to spread the word, etc. I will be doing much more than skull cleaning. I will be trapping, fur selling, catering to the Native American tribes by providing suplies for them to make their wonderful works of arrt. I make a few works of art out of wildlife myself. lol. Yes, I have a trappers license, taxidermy permit and sales license. Looking for info on the beetles and what I need to know before I start. I really like to know what I am up against and prepare for it rather than find out the hard way and it wind up costing myself or others money in stock or supply. Thanks
    Kim
     
  14. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I would not have them in the same building as my taxidermy shop. There is an aroma you don't want. There will be maverick beetles that will escape when you are adding and taking out skulls. If you insist on having it in the same building, at least have an outside access door, and no inside access to that room. Keep the floor sprinkled with Sevin, and place skulls in a freezer for 3 days after removing from beetles.
     
  15. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

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    Keep the floor sprinkled with Sevin, and place skulls in a freezer for 3 days after removing from beetles.

    Good tips Joey. Thank You for that.
     
  16. kermmie30

    kermmie30 New Member

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    Hello and thanks Joey! Your advice is so generous and helpful. I wasn't aware that I would need to have the freezer in the same room as the beetles..did I get that right? So, I will need two freezers. One to keep the new inventory in when I sign for it and then one to put the finished inventory in for three days before removing from the beetle room? Here was my plan..I was going to have it in the same building but do it this way-tell me your thoughts. I was going to have the room as part of the building (built as a sealed and insulated "box" if you will) Like a room inside the barn all itself. With a motorized ventillation system to exhaust the smell out without letting the beetles escape. I am sure there is some kind of screening system I can use in front of the vent. Even if I have to frame it in and put in front of the vent. I will have it vented to the outside wall of the barn. Not a high powered vent, just air circulation for summer months. What do you think..although, that doesn't help the temperature control situation---suggestions? I was quite surprized when I saw your pics with an open container--lol--after all the things I have read about "containment" and "cross contamination" by unwanted passengers on rotting flesh..to put it blantantly. I really need to know what I am doing with confidence before I get into this. Not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. I intend to do this professionally with all precautions that are needed to produce the right product and service. Please feel free to call me if you are not as fast at typing as I am! I could go on and on about all the questions I have. My ebay seller ID is sadielady if anyone wants to see some of the "boiled method" skulls I have. A mass purchase from an estate sale that got me into this thing! ha ha. These specemins were the reason I decided to do the beetles. I had to re-boil these and clean them up more in order to even make them sellable. I knew there had to be a better method! Thanks, look forward to advice, suggestions or input from anyone!
     
  17. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You can have one freezer, unless your business grows past that point. Just place the skull(s) in a pail and transport them to a freezer after removing. I'm sure there are much better set-ups than mine. I had a sour experience with a deep freezer as a dermestarium....but that was my fault due to poor ventilation. My beetles don't get a lot of TLC between now and fall. In September, I trap enough to recolonize, clean out my box, and start over. I do about a hundred deer skulls between Nov 15 and March 1....that's one per day, which is good enough for me. Your room within your barn will be OK, but I strongly suggest that the only access to it is through an outside door dedicated to the room. Seal and insulate the walls, and keep the floor sprinkled with Sevin.