Grain moths in Woodchuck mount - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

Hi, I have an extensive taxidermy collection. I have 4 deer shoulder mounts, 1 turkey, 2 bears, 1 elk, about 12 trout and 1 woodchuck. All my mounts are in my finished basement, that is kept at 65 degrees in the winter and dehumidified in the summer. Overall a clean area. I recently notice the hair was falling out of my woodchuck mount. I took it back to the taxidermist, He told me it was grain moths. I am wondering does this happen often? Does the tanning process have anything to do with why these moths would be on that specific mount? Anything else, anyone could add would be very appreciated. I have checked and cleaned all my other mounts with no sign of any infestation and they all look like the day I brought them home. Also I have read about Mount shield and some other products to treat my mounts with on a yearly basis. Could anyone recommend a product and possibly a method of cleaning/protecting my mounts? Thanks in advance. Ryan
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 11:41 PM
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

More likely it's clothes moth. It only takes one moth to fly in your house and lay eggs on a mount, or what ever it finds. Freezing is best to kill them. Put the mount in the freezer (turn the temp on the freezer down low) leave in there for two weeeks or so. This will kill the adults, you will then need to bring the mount back up to room temperature for a while as freezing doesn't kill any eggs, then refreeze to kill any hatched eggs.
I've only ever had one customer mount get moths, that I'm aware of. I found freezing worked best.
It's a good idea to routinely set off raid bug bombs in the summer months. I usually set them off about 3 times during the summer. Kinda odd you have them this time of year.
With so many other mounts you should hire an exterminator.

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/clothes
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:17 PM
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

Dermestids are found in many forms----carpet beetles, clothes moths or "grain moths" can all wreck havoc on mounts.
FWIW.....your woodchuck mount is not the source of the infestation. It is simply the "hotel" where they have set up residence. Almost every case of "bugs" I have seen results from poorly done or "home taxidermy" items. Do you have any dried turkey tails or grouse tails laying around? How about deer antlers with the skin still on the skull plate? These are usually the catalysts that start an infestation. The eggs can come in via many vectors. Your feet, your pet's feet, pet food and bird seed are the most common vectors. Once in your home the larvae will attack whatever is easiest and most convenient. Usually it is a "home taxidermy" item like the aforementioned turkey tails or deer skulls. Once that "buffet" is cleaned out they move on to other venues----like properly done mounts. They will start with the "tastiest"----in your case, a woodchuck, but eventually will get everything you have. Even bird feet injected with formaldehyde and glycerin are not safe. You have a virtual buffet with your taxidermy collection---you REALLY need to hire an exterminator.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

@ Gitzit, I don't currently have the moths. I had just noticed the hair was falling out and picked the mount up to find a dust looking stuff and some shell cases of the larva. I was told they were moths by my taxidermist. Thanks for replying.
@ Paul C I have no dried turkey tails or home taxidermy laying around. I have not noticed any signs on any of my other mounts. The woodchuck was done professionally, but where is was stitched at the base of the tail was not fully closed. It was open for anything to go to the inside of the mount. Would this be why they chose my woodchuck? It was just a small area like 1/2 inch that was open. I guess this could fall under poorly done. It was tanned, could poor tanning also cause this? Thanks for the help. Ryan
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 02:41 AM
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

Just my suggestion. Buy some of the bombs for bugs that you get at Lowes or Wal Mart. Open every drawer and door in your house. Turn off any pilot lights or furnaces you have running. Place the cannisters all over your house and make sure you have some newspaper under the cans. Then take the mount in question and place it in a large heavy duty garbage bag and fill the bag up with raid and seal it. Leave the bag in the garage for a couple days. Then set the bombs off and get out of the house for several hours. It's very important to use enough bombs and give them several hours to work. Then you will have to clean all your surfaces, wash all dishes, and vacuum your floors. Also if you can place all food in an outside area or even in a vehicle before the foggers. If not make sure everything is sealed up. After the cleaning of the house and your mancave spray the perimeter of your house with a insect barrier spray. I know it sounds like alot of work but it's not that bad. I do it twice a year. We have to much invested in our mounts to have them ruined. Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 12:07 PM
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Thompson
@ Paul C I have no dried turkey tails or home taxidermy laying around. I have not noticed any signs on any of my other mounts. The woodchuck was done professionally, but where is was stitched at the base of the tail was not fully closed. It was open for anything to go to the inside of the mount. Would this be why they chose my woodchuck? It was just a small area like 1/2 inch that was open. I guess this could fall under poorly done. It was tanned, could poor tanning also cause this? Thanks for the help. Ryan
They don't need a hole or open stitching to enter a mount. Since they eat the hair roots they really don't care about getting inside although they do like to "live in the restaurant". IF the infestation is confined to ONLY the woodchuck get rid of the problem. I would rather dispose of one mount than risk the entire collection. I have ZERO bug problems in my studio but have had several infestations in my house (upstairs) that I traced back to bird seed and dog food. Get rid of the source, get rid of their current residence and then bug bomb the heck out of everything else and you "should" be ok but I would still hire an exterminator.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Grain moths in Woodchuck mount

Thanks Big28hunter for the advice! Paul C, thanks for the advice as well. I will start to investigate hiring an exterminator thanks so much for helping me out. I will let you guys know how everything works out. Take care. Ryan P.S. The woodchuck is outta the house for good!
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