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Dermestid beatle care ?
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hackleback
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November 12, 2011 - 11:30 am
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What type of enviroment do you have to keep for deermestid beatles ? I'm wanting to get some but need to know how to take care of them before i buy them . I get quite a few euro mounts and i send the excess to my friend . I'd like to take in more but i can only do so much . So if any of you have been using beatles for awhile i could use some advice .

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Toxic
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November 13, 2011 - 3:13 am
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There seems like a lot, but its quite simple to keep them once you have the basics covered. First and foremost you have to keep them in and other bugs out. The method I use to cut down on invasion from other bugs including ants is odor control. I use a negative pressure in the enclosure, my vent system pulls air through the enclosure and then out the vent. This keeps all odor at the vent pipe, instead of around the enclosure. I use old computer case fans and an old computer power supply to power them. I can send you the wire diagram that shows what terminals to jumper on the power supply motherboard connector if you go this route also. I use the clear sterilite containers from walmart for the small colonies, chest style freezers for my large colonies. The ventilation is needed to control humidity in the enclosure. All openings for any hoses or vent pipes (I use old vacuum cleaner flex hoses) has to be triple screened. turn each layer of screen at a right angle in relation to the one below it. Sounds like a lot but its not. There are a few rules you need to adhere to when it comes to the food (skulls) you feed the beetles. Freeze all skulls for at least 2 days, this kills other bugs and parasites. If you have a vent system going you can add your still frozen skull into the beetles or you can thaw it and air dry in front of a fan over night (I don't do this but you can) keeping the humidity down and keeping your skulls bug free until you give them to your beetles is very important. Its late tonight, but I will post some pic's of my set up tomorrow and also I am converting a chest freezer in the nest few days to a bug colony. I will show you how I set up my heater system which costs under $30 to keep them warm and toasty outside or in an unheated shop. This is because the beetles prefer temps from 70 to 90 degrees F.

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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hackleback
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November 14, 2011 - 12:36 am
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Thanks toxic . I think i can do that . It would be worth it to me to build something to hold a good colonie . Pictures would be awsome . Thank's.

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Toxic
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November 16, 2011 - 2:33 am
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sorry for late up date

all vent openings need triple screened

even the inside of the container, this is a freezer set up

the inside of the vent openings for the air out vent are triple screened.

I use old vacuum cleanner hose for the vent pipe on this freezer set up

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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Toxic
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November 16, 2011 - 2:34 am
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my vent pipe here is routed to a wood box that I built because Iintend to run multiple hoses to it from other colonies,

inside that box is an old computer case fan blowing out, its powered by the old power supply

I cut the heat off in my shop when i am not there, the bugs stay toasty by this heater set up, I use a line voltage thermostat and a small cheap heater from wally world, the thermo costs around $12.00 from grainger, the heater $13 I think.

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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Toxic
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November 16, 2011 - 2:37 am
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close up of thermo, it does not have to be level, it uses a bi-metalic strip for temp control.

keep the temp around 75 to 85 deg.

here are some pics of my of my small colonie containers, vent system is the same since I set it up. its kind of crude, hoses were bulky. can be down sized and vented from one fan if needed. the pc power supply is running the fans

the openings in front of the vent pipes is the air in vent.

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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Toxic
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November 16, 2011 - 2:37 am
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styrofoam is needed for the beetles to boar into and pupate into beetles from larvae

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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Ken Smith
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November 17, 2011 - 2:01 am
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interesting post always woundered about the bug set up
thanks

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hackleback
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November 18, 2011 - 1:36 am
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Looks like a nice setup . I appreciate the information . It will help me out alot . I have a spare freezer to so im gonna give it a try . We really get alot of euro's hate to turn work away . Thank's again .

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wildlife1
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November 18, 2011 - 1:40 am
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Nice set up Toxic

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DC Taxidermy
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November 18, 2011 - 1:49 am
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Toxic thats a sweet setup...DC

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Jason W
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November 18, 2011 - 1:50 am
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Nice set-up, one question, about how many euro's a year do you think one should take in before going to this kind of setup?

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Toxic
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November 18, 2011 - 9:30 pm
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thats all up to you Jason, I do a large number of skulls of all kinds. Beetles are the main way I clean but not the only way, but I will say, I have never boiled a skull before. I use maceration a lot on the bears and hogs I get.

If your Girlfriend says you never take her some were expensive, take her to a gas station

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JAFL
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February 7, 2016 - 11:02 pm
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Toxic's information in this post is as good as it gets. Most people raising dermestids seem to think the only answer to humidity and odors is a bathroom fan that is like putting these insects in a wind storm..yes, it removes air and dries out the skulls and kills exposed eggs as well as many small larvae.

That volume of air is more than any autopsy room would ever need! With this information and a variable speed switch you could safely ventilate a 5 gallon aquarium without causing any of the problems I just mentioned. 

Toxic was right about about the bugs needing to be fed. They are protein eaters and if you need to stretch the meat you have you can also feed  good quality dog or cat chow. One caution about doing this is pet food manufacturers are not USDA inspected. Many are also known to have a systemic problem with wild dermestid beetles which intern creates a problem with mites.

To prevent infestation of mites or wild dermestid beetles with mites ALL Pet chow has got to be either frozen for the 3 day period or heated  to 120°. (It then should be kept in an air tight container and fed as needed.) There are some who say that pet food draws mites in but this is not true. Usually this thought comes from having used it without knowing where mites really do come from and not making sure ANY food that is presented is safe so to speak.

One more thing these guys do need water on a regular basis. However, their bedding should never be moist as it can set you up for an infestation if you ever do get a mite or two in the box. If your humidity is 30 to 50% mites should not be a problem.

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DavidReyes
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March 9, 2016 - 11:57 am
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Dermestid beetles are, thankfully, very easy to care for and maintain. There are a few things you will need to think about, however, when setting up your dermestid colony. Firstly, you will need to think about the environment of the space you are placing them in. Dermestids are most active in heat between 70-80 degrees, Fahrenheit. You will want to provide heat lamps to try and keep them as close to this temperature, as possible. Always keep them above freezing, as they will die if the temperature becomes that low. Be sure that the space you place them in is well-ventilated, as dermestid colonies can smell quite bad, especially large ones over a long period of time.

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woakley144
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October 16, 2016 - 7:36 pm
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Thanks for the info too Toxic!!! I am working on moving my colony from a plastic tub to an old chest freezer,  was wondering about the ventilation I was needing.  I have used cardboard for the bugs to bore and pupate,  will have to try the styrofoam.  Also using the non-secented paper pet bedding for my box.  

JAFL,  What I feed my beetles in the off season is dried meat I save from the necks of my mounts.  I cut it into very small pieces, put it on wax paper and freeze it for about 3 weeks, then put it into a bucket I keep in the freezer and feed and water about every 7-10 days or as needed.  The main issue I was told about the bugs is that they MUST have some type of water.  I have a plastic lid from an Advocare spark container and fold a paper towel up, then spray the towel with water every time I think about it,  usually about every 3-5 days.

My colony has been active for over 3 years without any major problems..... (except for the spider incident) Had a spider take up residence in you bug box, he was having a feast!Cry But after I rebuilt my seal on the box no more spiders!

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TafiNami
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April 24, 2018 - 11:45 am
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You won't want to use it in a tiny backyard or patio area, but if you have a large outdoor space that's plagued with mosquitoes a heavy-duty electronic string insect japper like this Flowtron unit might be worth considering. It promises to kill mosquitos and other flying insects over a half-acre area,

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