Buy Dermestid Beetle Kits

Buy Dermestid Beetle Kits

Start A Dermestid Beetle Colony for Personal Use Or Your Own Commercial Business

Dermestid Beetles Do The Work of Eating All the Flesh Off of Skulls and Bones

Important Facts to Know When Buying Dermestid Beetles

We get many calls from people who have purchased beetles from online auction sites or other vendors. Because many of these vendors only sell bugs, and do not really clean skulls, these people buying from these vendors call us for our advice. They thought they were getting a good deal, but the nature of these calls were concerning other bugs/parasites that were found in their beetle order when it arrived. We know of two online sellers who’s beetles are infected with mites. You may not notice the mites unless you look with a dissecting scope or good magnifying glass. Colonies with mites will survive for awhile, but will not make a long-term sustainable population. We guarantee our bugs are mite-free. If you are looking to buy from other sellers, ask them if they guarantee their beetles are free of these parasites. Better yet, ask to see pictures of the bugs you will be buying.

Show Me The Bugs!

When we collect beetles for beetle orders, we separate them from 95% of the debris “frass” that accumulates in the colony. This way, we can get an accurate count on how many bugs you are actually getting. We have actually counted them, then weigh them to make sure all orders are getting the correct amount (plus some!). We never get any complaints about how many bugs our customers received. Of course adults are heavier than tiny larvae, so we make slight adjustments depending on the majority of age classes in the order. Here are some pics of some quantities of bugs. Beware of sellers who tell you they will ship you your bugs in the waste (“frass”) material. It is impossible to really see how many bugs are in there.

Dermestid Beetle Online Order

The Dermestid, or carpet beetle, belongs to the family Dermestidae. Dermestids feed on dry-moist animal material. There are many species of Dermestid beetles that are native to North America and will invariably show up at a carcass. Domestic colonization of wild species has proven to be very difficult at best. The species most easily colonized is Dermestes maculatus. These beetles undergo complete metamorphosis; that is, egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. The complete life cycle lasts about 45 days per generation. Adults (beetle looking), lay eggs which are too small to be seen with the naked eye. A few days later, very small larvae hatch out, which begin looking for their first meal. The larvae continue eating and molting 8 times before they reach about an inch in length. This growing/molting period lasts about 30 days. It is the larvae that do the majority of the cleaning. The large larvae then find a quiet spot and pupate. As they pupate their last outer larvae skin falls off leaving them somewhat yellow in appearance. Seven days later out comes an adult. Within a day or two the adult is laying 4-5 eggs a day and the whole process begins anew. The adults live for about 3 months.

We are experimenting with the beetles all the time, as they have become part of our local high school biology department’s species of interest. We will update any new information we learn this winter/spring. Here, we have learned how to make them “expose themselves” to sex them.

Male Dermestid Beetle

Because adult beetles (egg laying) are necessary to immediately build a population, make sure you are getting plenty of adults when you buy bugs. Many businesses will sell you mainly small larvae which will not increase your colony size until they reach adulthood and lay eggs. This could take up to 2 months before you have any new hatchlings in your colony.

Many businesses will tell you 100-300 beetles and larvae are enough to immediately begin cleaning skulls. This may be true if you were cleaning mice skulls, but to clean big game animals, you need thousands of beetle larvae. To attain numbers this high it takes time to build your colonies. Do not be fooled by people claiming you can build a working colony in a few weeks from a handful of larvae. Getting adult beetles is the key, and even if you started with 500 adults, it would take a month before all the baby larvae were big enough to eat large volumes of meat.

The number one reason people buy their beetles from us is that we continue to help and support our customers whenever they have a question about beetle care, skull cleaning, degreasing, whitening and mounting. We have been cleaning skulls with Dermestid beetles for 25 years, and have experience with virtually all game species. We do a large volume of skulls and can answer your skull taxidermy questions.

Buy 2 of our #2 Dermestid Beetle Super Kits of over 2000 bugs each, and we throw a 3rd one in for free. So you get over 6000 bugs! That’s enough bugs to start cleaning skulls right away! Just buy 2 of our #2 kits within 5 minutes and we will include the 3rd for free. Limited time offer!

#1 Dermestid Beetle Starter Kit

When you purchase our #1 “STARTER KIT” we will include:

  • An assortment of 300+ live adult beetles, larvae, and pupae. We guarantee a minimum of 50 adults which are necessary to begin new colonies.
  • Plenty of bedding material that beetles prefer to lay their eggs in.
  • Two pages of instructions on how to construct and maintain your colony.

 $55.00 + $12.50 shipping/handling

#2 Dermestid Beetle Super Kit

When you purchase our #2 “SUPER STARTER KIT” we will include over 2000 bugs!

  • An assortment of over 2000 adults, larvae, and pupae. We guarantee over 200 adults. The equivalent of over 6 #1 kits (over $150 savings)
  • Plenty of bedding material that beetles prefer to lay their eggs in.
  • Two pages of instruction on how to construct and maintain your colony.

This Kit will get you cleaning skulls in 3-4 weeks. This option will also enable you to start multiple colonies at once.

 $230.00 + $16.50 shipping/handling