How does something so small destroy a trophy so large? Insects are a bane to trophy collectors everywhere. As winter hits, your trophy room will not be immune as the critters come inside to escape the cold. Your trophies provide a ready food and nesting source and you will need to cut off that access. Here is what you need to do to prevent insects from destroying your animal mounts:
- Consider making the trophy room a food-free zone: Your trophies already offer several ideal conditions for insects, but there is no reason to add additional incentive to insect invaders. If you want to avoid throwing out a bigger welcome mat to bugs, eliminate food from the trophy room. Keep snacking confined to other areas of the house. If you and your friend have a beer while admiring your quarry, remove containers as you leave the room. Clean areas do not attract bugs at the rate of cluttered ones, and these small steps can prevent large infestations.
- Inspect trophies regularly: Insects frequently nest in trophies, and when their larvae hatch, that’s when you will see signs. Look for lines and tracks in the hair, sawdust under the mount and empty larvae cases that look like Rice Krispies on or under mounts. Holes in horns or on bird legs also indicate the presence of larvae. When you see these signs, you need to take further action and consult your taxidermist for possible restoration work. Leaving them to linger can mean turning your hard-earned trophy into a total loss.
- Invest in regular bug bombs: If you wait until you see the signs of larvae, it could already be too late. Before you notice these signs, schedule regular bug bombs to kill the adults and juveniles before they breed and hatch. Bombing can be tricky during the winter because it is more difficult to air out your home after it is done. However, doing it on warmer winter days and throughout the spring and summer will control the number of bugs that invade your trophy room. Start this habit now and continue it into the warmer months to preserve your trophies.
- Contact your taxidermist: As mentioned, once you see the signs, there is no other choice but to act. Contacting your taxidermist as soon as possible heightens the possibility that your infested trophy can be restored to its former glory. Even if there are obvious lines or missing hair, there are still options. Save hair clumps as you find them, as a taxidermist can glue them in again. Also, taxidermists often recommend preferred preservatives that can help maintain your trophy and kill any bugs, so you will want that advice as well. Even if your trophy can be restored 100 percent, it can at least be returned to presentable condition if you act quickly.
If your trophy room has suffered an insect infestation, Nature’s Design Taxidermy can help you with restoration work. Once you catch and destroy the bugs, give us a call to see if we can minimize any damage.