Skin beetle and moth

Skin beetle

Skin beetle belongs to the Dermestidae family consisting of 600 species of different beetles. They got their name because of their diet: they feed on animal remains, feathers, wool, skin, fur, and other organic materials. In other words, they are necrobionts which are the main pests of stocks and items containing substances of animal origin. Skin beetles tend to locate in the vicinity of animal food or places that store natural materials such as museum pieces, fur products, carpets, etc.

In everyday life, skin beetles can act as pests since they can cause damage to household goods containing natural materials.

However, they serve a crucial role in nature as sanitarians - utilizers that help decompose organic materials such as animal remains. They contribute to the natural cycles of decomposition by recycling organic matter and returning it to the soil.

They like dry environments and prefer dried animal carcasses and bird nests. What is worth noting is that the larvae are the most dangerous. The adult insect is aphagous, i.e., does not feed. They are up to 12 mm in size.
We are interested in the museum beetle, also known as Anthrenus museorum. This species often causes damage to museum exhibits, art, historical artifacts, and other valuable items.
Museum beetles feed on a variety of organic materials, such as:

Artificial materials of animal origin: The food source of museum beetles includes such materials as silk, cotton, linen, paper and other fabrics and materials used in the creation of paintings, furniture, textiles and other art and craft products.

Wool and fur: Museum beetles can damage fur products, woolen clothing, and other items containing wool and fur.

They can also affect feathers, making them potentially dangerous for historical feathered robes and similar exhibits.

Leather: Museum beetles can damage leather goods and leather objects, including shoes, bags, and furniture.
So, the skink beetle is a major problem for parchment and parchment book bindings, taxidermy mounts, and hunting trophies.

Taxidermy mounts can also be affected by another problem - moths

A group of insects with more than 15 thousand species of the Lepidoptera family. They are mostly nocturnal or diurnal. Many of them are keratophages, that is, they feed on substances of animal origin: skin, hair, wool, horny substances. They have a characteristic life cycle that consists of eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adults. They often prefer dark and little-visited places where they can feed freely and reproduce quickly. The main damage is caused by the caterpillar.

Moths start to reproduce and destroy the materials used in the insulation between the walls of houses or buildings. This also applies to the caulking, which often consists of organic materials such as wood fiber, cellulose, flax, jute, wool, etc., which can provide a breeding ground for insects.

The worst case scenario is when the insulation is hidden, for example, by plasterboard, which makes it very difficult to fight the problem. Moths can penetrate the building structure through small cracks, crevices, or holes, and then multiply and feed on the insulation. This can lead to the destruction of materials and the weakening of thermal insulation, which will eventually affect the effectiveness of the building's insulation and thermal insulation. Besides, the abundance of insects in the room will not please the owners.
How to get rid of a skin beetle or a moth in insulation safely?
Because of their ability to feed on a wide variety of materials, museum beetles pose a serious threat to the collections of museums, archives, and private collections. Most often, pesticides are used to combat it, such as vapors of 40% formalin, which is quite toxic.

The indisputable advantage of the microwave Shashel® is its direct effect on the pest, which contains a large amount of water. Microwaves will kill a skin beetle inside taxidermy mounts or a moth inside the insulation in a wall, even without physical access and without affecting the environment.
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Irritating and playful, slowly devouring the furniture bequeathed by his grandfather, the woodworm gnawed, gnawed, continued gnawing, as if it were a clock devouring time... © Alves Redol
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