Dermestid Beetle Habitat: Pre-Arrival Set Up

  • We removed the silicon trim of a 20 gallon aquarium with a scalpel so the beetles would not be able to crawl up the sides and added 1 1/2 inches of paper shavings as the substrate (bedding layer).
  • We cut a large chemical-free bone sponge to fit into a glass petri dish so it can stay moist for general hydration and larvae pupation- or become pupa which is the intermediate form between larva and adult.
  • Dermestids love dark and warm environments (dead bodies) so the set up isn’t complete without more places to hide inside and eat like a cardboard egg carton and foam board to act as both a barrier between the beetles substrate (paper shavings) layer and where the specimens would be placed, and as another layer for nesting and pupation. 
  • For another layer of escape protection we also used screening fabric underneath the aquarium screen lid.
  • The habitat is not complete without a thermometer to make sure they are no colder than 60 degrees and no warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (colder and they’ll eat  slower and die; warmer and they’ll grow wings and fly!) Room temp at around 70 degrees is the Goldilocks zone.