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Every morning are you waking up with red, itchy bug bites on your arms, legs, and around your ankles? Or do you find reddish-brown tiny spots or round ink-like dark spots on your mattress and sheets? Then you have to fight bed bugs in your house, one of the annoying pests found in homes. 

More than that, do you know that bed bug shed skin?  The skin they shed will mostly look similar to the live bed bugs. And it can be an indicator of the pest problems you have. 

They are considered to be one of the most disliked pests in homes because they are capable of doing damage to the house. 

Although these bugs won’t infect you with diseases, they will cause a nuisance in your home. You can find these bed bugs anywhere in the world and will hide in the smallest places, making it hard for us to find them. 

People complain about the presence of bed bugs even after pest control treatments. The time, effort, and money you put to get rid of these bed bugs will become ineffective. Another problem is that they can spread quickly and easily everywhere in the home, making it a hard task for you to get rid of them. So let’s talk about the bed bugs, and whether the bed bug shed skin. 

Moreover, we would give a few simple and effective tips to get rid of bed bugs.

What are bed bugs?

bed bug size

Before finding out about bed bug shed skin and treatments to get rid of them, you need to know what bed bugs are and how they look. 

This insect is incredibly tiny and looks flat with oval-shaped bodies. The adult ones have the vestiges of wings which are called wing pads and look brown in color and after feeding they will look red in color. They move slowly when they are full-grown. Although the smaller bed bugs are hard to see with the naked eye, the adults can be detected by the naked eye. 

But you will tend to miss it, especially when you are busy at home. They can hide very well due to their tiny body, in the corners, gaps, edges, and slits. You can even find them hiding in carpets, curtains, wall skirting, and bed seams. 

They spread easily by traveling from location to location in search of hosts. They lay as many as seven eggs in a day and take just three weeks to develop into an adult. If you have ten reproducing bed bugs in your home, they will grow into a population size of seventy eggs a day. This will cause major damage to home furnishing and designs, and sometimes replacing them can be big, especially, for the curtain, sofa, and mattresses. 

Detecting the pest is one way to prevent the presence of a large number of insects. Through this, you can take steps to minimize the damage. When you detect them early, they will need only a little treatment to get rid of them. 

Do bed bug sked skin? 

The true fact is, yes bed bugs shed skin.  It will look similar to a live bed bug.  They have an exoskeleton and shed skin at least five times before reaching maturity. The skin that is shed is called casting or shell. The shedding process is called molting,  which is the general term for shedding old skin to make way for new skin.  This is most common among insects.  

Once the egg hatches into a nymph and casts off its eggshell, the first shedding.  It goes through fire development stages,  and in each stage bed bug shed skin.  At each shedding,  the bug will grow larger in size. This is done because their shell is rigid and not capable of growing bigger, so they need to shed it periodically and replace it with one that fits them correctly. 

Once the bed bug reaches maturity, it will stop the molt and will not grow in size.  But the adult bed bug will expand after feeding blood about twice its original size.  The skin sheddings you find will indicate the process of the bed bugs growing into adults. 

You will find it less likely to notice the egg casings, as they are white and oval in shape. They look ⅙ of an inch in length. You will find it hard to see with your naked eye due to their color and size. Moreover, it is difficult to tell apart from other common insects like beetles, and cockroaches. So before treatment, you need to diagnose it properly.

When and how does bed bug shed skin? 

Bed bugs shed skin in between each time they feed.  Before using the nutrients in the blood, they will feed.  The bug will become too big for its shell and so will make a hole in it to climb out.  They developed a new layer of skin under the old one first so that they will never be without the protective layer.  It is hard to find them in the process of shedding their skin because they will do it when they are hidden.  

bed bug shed skin

The nymph has to have a blood meal at least once in each stage and can feed for up to 10 minutes at a time.  Under the perfect condition,  the molting process will take place by the nymph.  They need a human host for regular blood meals with a consistent temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If they have a poor condition, the molting process will be very slow,  and it will take up to 6 months from hatching to adulthood.  They usually live and gather in groups and this is why you find collections of castings in a place.  They do not spread disease but they can trigger respiratory illness and asthma in people who have respiratory issues. 

What do you need to know about shedding?

The size of the bed bug skin will give you an idea about how far the infestation is in development.  

The difference between a skin and a real bug is the exoskeleton will look empty and translucent, and will not move. The new infestations will have fewer shed skins and as they wear on and molting continues, the immature bed bugs will begin to make up the majority of the population. Moreover, the shed skins do not decompose at the same rate, so they will start to build up over time.

You will be able to spot the bed bug exoskeletons clearer than actual bed bugs, especially because the skins will be found in large groups along with the mattress, sheets, curtains, headboard, and baseboards and can even stick to your bedding and pajamas.

How often do they shed? 

It depends on the environment because bugs find it easy to grow quicker in a warmer environment. They can feed and progress to the next stage in a warm environment.  So within two weeks they will grow and reach adulthood.  Most probably, the summer season is the best for them to grow. 

But during the winter, it will take several days to reach adulthood. Because it will take a long time for them to break their food and the bug’s metabolism will be slower.  But throughout winter they will feed anyway due to the steady indoor temperatures. 

What Does bed shed skin look like?

bed bug

The old bed bug shells look like real-life bed bugs.  You will find a large abdomen, and a small body and legs. The bed bugs will look most opaque after feeding because the body full of blood. Without blood, the shells will look slightly translucent. 

The shells are the same size as bed bugs.  The adult bug will be around the same size as the seed of an apple. The nymph bed bugs will look as small as the size of a grain of rice, and so you will find it difficult to notice the shells.  It will be easier for you to crush and destroy. The shells of other bed bugs are between the size of the nymph and the adult.  Once they get into the second and third stages their shells will become Brown and will be easy for you to notice.

The color of the shells will be noticeably Brown and this comes from their diet of blood.  And the nymphs which have never fed will look white to off-white color.  It is hard for you to recognize the live bed bugs from the old shells purely through color.  But because the old shells are slightly translucent, they will appear with a light shade. 

Bed bug shed skin is made from a substance called chitin,  and it looks like a nail. Chitin is hard and a tough substance that occurs widely in nature.  But it can be squashed easily, especially if they have just fed.  But when they are unfed,  they’re pretty tough and the shell will be a bit rigid,  and you will find it a bit hard to squash it.   The chitin forms the exoskeleton of bugs as well as the big creatures like crabs.  It is often accompanied by an elastic, rubber-like substance and allows stretching and movement. It will also allow the bed bug’s abdomen to extend outwards. 

How to get rid of bed bugs and shed skin? 

Bed bugs can cause a lot of damage to your house.  It can leave unsightly blood stains on the furniture like mattresses,  bed sheets, curtains, rugs, and carpets.  You can find dark spots and rust on the surfaces. There will be traces of shed skin or shells scattered on the furniture and appears to be dirty with poor housekeeping standards. you will also find blood stains on the wall as they will travel along and get squeezed by people accidentally. They crawl around the home and create a poorly sanitized and pest-infested image of the house. 

bed bug in carpet

It is easy to misidentify the bed bugs and get confused with other common pests.  This leads to the usage of wrong methods or products that can be ineffective. The bedbugs will hide in cracks, carpet, mattresses, crevices,  and other hard-to-reach areas.  When you neglect to treat these affected areas,  it will lead to uncontrollable pest problems. 

To get rid of bedbugs, you need to start with cleaning up the places where they live. You need to clean the bedding, curtains, linens, and other clothes using hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. 

To scrub the mattress, use a stiff brush to remove the bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming. Vacuum the bed and the surrounding frequently and after that, place the vacuum cleaner immediately in a plastic bag and place it in the garbage can outdoors. 

Repair the cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places where the bed bug hides. Cover the mattress and box springs with a tightly woven and zippered cover to keep the bedbugs from entering or escaping. 

Keep the mattress covered for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead as the bed bugs will live up to a year without feeding.

Conclusion 

Bed bugs and bed bug shed skin can be very annoying. Although they do not spread the disease, they can end up covered in itchy red bites. They can spread into a large population causing major damage to the house. But you can take steps to prevent the spread of bed bugs, by noticing the room regularly for signs of bed bugs, clothing, and luggage. You can keep the room free of piles of clothes in which they hide. 

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