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I have dermestids in my shop!!!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Amy, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I believe that I have dermestids in my shop. I had some salted deer capes (spare capes of mine, luckily not a customers). They had been leaning against the wall of my shop for a while. To my horror when I went to look at them today, the little dermestid caterpillars had started to eat them completely up. I'm not upset about losing the capes but just the thought of these bugs in the shop bothers me terribly.

    I only found 3 or 4 live caterpillars (that's the best way to describe them - they're only about 3/4" long and somewhat fuzzy) but there were loads of shed skins. I searched "dermistid" on the web and came up with a photo of that very thing so that's what they are for sure.

    I immediately disposed of the capes, swept the shop and checked everywhere. I did not find anything anywhere else in the shop and every mount seemed to be just fine.

    But I'm sure I need to take some sort of action since there may be some hidden somewhere. Would setting off a bug bomb in the shop work? It's a very small shop (10x20') and I should think it I set it off and closed it up for a few hours that it would kill anything. Or should I have a real exterminator come out?
  2. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    I'd bomb it, with a bug bomb of course. I'd also spray around the outside with Malathion or something like that.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Go to Lowes or Home Depot and find the Raid Fumigator. There are 3 canisters in a blue box that you'll open, remove the can from the canister, pour in 1/4 inch of water, and set the can back into. It will absorb the water through perforations in the bottom and the chemical reaction will melt a plastic cover in the top center. A smoke will start emanating from the can and the 3 cans will effectively kill ALL the insects in a 24x24 area. You have to remove plants and pets when doing it, but it will work well. Open all your cabinets and drawers so the smoke can infiltrate all the areas and your bugs will be gone. I do this about once a month whether I need it or not. I think they run about $9 a box.
  4. How long should you stay away from the area, George?


    WAL-MART AND KROGERS CARRY IT TOO.... good stuff read the instructions, retreat in 30 days


    what your probably seeing are carpet beetle larva, the skins are where they molted. If you have windows look there for the adults, they won't be much bigger than a #4 shot.

    Ctracker.........if my memory serves me right the box says min. 3 hours, I close up tight and leave it overnight, retreat in 30 days as the gas does not kill eggs, and the larva are pretty tough to wack.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Elmer, you're memory is excellent. Three hours is correct. I usually treat mine right as I walk out of the shop at night and let it just set there till the taxidermy fairies show up or I open the door the next morning, whichever comes first.

    RATTRAP Don't laugh, deer think my head is an acorn!

    As you can probably see by my avatar - my day job is in pest management. 28 years now. Got the nick name from what I do.

    There are a variety of insects that are in the "dermestid" grouping. They all have similiar habits. The "caterpillars" that you mention, are the larvae of the beetle. They are the ones responsible for the damage, not the beetle itself (this is the adult stage and only are looking to mate) You may find beetles in the window ledges as they are attracted to light.

    A "bomb" will only kill the exposed stages of the insects. Anything deep in cracks, crevices or under folds of materials or hides will not be affected. Cool temperatures in the shop will slow down the life cycle and you may think you got them, but when it warms up - they're here again.

    It is best to do a deep cleaning, treat with a "bomb" ( technical term is a non residual - total release aerosol insecticide), and DON'T forget to also treat with a residual insecticide. This will require spraying a liguid residual insecticide into those out of the way areas such as cracks & crevices, low traffic areas such as under shelving and floor edges, possibly inside of containers such as cardboard boxes - to name a few spots. The trick is to get a thorough treatment and repeat in a couple of weeks.

    Freezing of the capes would also kill the litter critters. Leave in the freezer for a few days will do the trick. But DON'T FORGET THE RESIDUAL INSECTICIDE TREATMENTto the rest of the areas of the shop. Go to Home Depot or Lowes, etc to find an insecticide listed for carpet beetles, dermestids, etc. You could actually treat the capes with a residual insecticide if you wanted to.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Those are the little SOB's that got into and ruined my 2 fox skins...I hate them...
  10. The worst thing about them is that the adults have a nasty habit of burrowing into wood to hibernate. Next spring...boom, there they are again.