Taxidermy is one of the common ways of preserving skulls, especially in museums. Various companies have been using dermestid beetles for taxidermy and other purposes. A lot of people tend to ask how the beetles are grown and what it takes to maintain a colony. The flesh eating beetles provide the perfect way to clean skulls without damaging them like other methods such as boiling. Here are a few facts you need to know regarding the growth of these beetles.
They eat anything
One of the things people might worry about when growing these beetles is food. The good news is that they can eat anything apart from glass or metal. Hence, feeding them will not be an issue. Feeding the beetles incurs less cost since they can eat waste products that are not necessarily bought with money. Once the colony has been grown, their benefit will exceed the cost incurred in growing them. However, they do not like rotten meat. If the skull you wish to feed them is rotten, you might want to consider another way of cleaning it, such as boiling.
Styrofoam is the best bedding.
Most animals require a person to cover the bottom of the shed. The beetles are no exception, and Styrofoam is the best material used to grow them. The larvae require a soft material to burrow in during the development process. The beetles tend to chew the bedding to make frass. Therefore, you might notice a powder forming on your Styrofoam. Such should not be a cause of alarm since it is normal.
They can fly
The fact that these beetles can fly turns out to be a major concern among many people. However, there are several ways that can be used during the growing process to prevent them from flying away. The flesh-eating beetle flies when exposed to a temperature of more than 80°F. Hence, keeping the temperatures below this would prevent them from flying. However, higher temperatures are required to facilitate the mating process. A heating device is used in the dark to ensure they do not fly away.
Growing a colony of flesh eating beetles is an easy task and does not take much time. The best part about keeping these insects is that they do not smell. If you are looking to have your skulls cleaning without damaging them, the beetles are the way to go. You need to ensure that the skulls are flesh to make it easy for the beetles to chew. If the skull has lasted for days, the meat might be hard for them to chew, and therefore, you will not get the desired results. Maintaining a colony is not a challenging task since all you need is Styrofoam, food, shelter, and a heating machine.