My first experiment via purchase of Dermestid Beetles has been a bit of a success. I won on Ebay a qualitative quantity of 25 very social and rabbit-acting adult beetles and also other various stages of growth.

Armed with a Styrofoam block so that they can burrow in and do their morphing into little hard-shelled beetles and some torn up paper towel and a misting bottle (of which there has been some debate because some say they get enough moisture from their meaty diet and others say they like it moister but both will tell you that mold kills them) I set about to let my colony grow.

Grow they did, well grow as in the sense of numbers and yes I would say they grew a little in size too. But just 2-3 months has passed and I would gander a guess at saying I have at least three hundred of the hungry little monsters hanging out in their 65 gallon borrowed home.

Originally purchased to do a bit of cleaning (and they are meticulous in those efforts from the dried fleshed skulls they have been fed) they have become more generalized pets than workers. Referred to as 'da Boys' (although I am sure there are both sexes available), I have found they have taken on many cool pet qualities.

Eating - They are voracious and will blanket their scraps almost immediately after you drop them into the tank. My girlfriend, her husband and some select other strange people I know save them bones. 'Here these are for the boys,' is the split second warning I get before a pile of chicken bones or gnawed on ribs lands on my desk at work or in my lap at home. I wonder if this abundance of food suppliers hasn't instigated their rather rabbit style reproduction.

Socializing - Now they are not the greatest talkers but they are great listeners. Something I desparately need being the type of woman who finds absolute pleasure in discussing the ways she finds, cleans or acquires her bits of nature can usually guarantee that only the most steadfast friend or insanely whacked individual can handle prolonged conversations with me. Where my life lacks ;) in abject socialization da Boys (just as the group of localized geese where I work and the crows and all the worlds future road kill) seem to fill those fevered moments with great curiosity and absolute spellbound-to-my-every-word type attention. I know, poor boys.

Other qualities - being a loner and one who doesn't go out of their way to find human intrusions into her life, having a tank of flesh eating Dermestid beetles parked above my bed is a perfect way to keep unwanted human intrusions away. I just repurchased my favorite bunk bed set - who says I can't have what I want, right? I am an adult - I think - anyway their tank sits on the top bunk. When people ask me if I have any pets I tell them 'just da boys' then I have to explain who da boys are.

Just something I should mention before closing - Dermestid beetles are multitalented little bugs. Not only are they entertaining, great at their jobs (stripping flesh), great listeners and incredibly tolerant but they make great watchdogs too. How many individuals are prone to investigating the contents of a place when that place includes active working flesh eating beetles?

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