Until recently, bedbugs have been a rarity since the 1950s. Improvements in hygiene and the wide use of pesticides rendered bedbugs almost extinct.
These pests have come back and are widely being reported today. Theories suggest the changes in modern pest control, along with immigration and international travel, may play a part in their return.
The first sign of bedbugs are usually the bites you get during the night. Other signs are the red fecal and blood stains seen in tiny dots on the mattress or linens.
The visibility of the shedding of the bedbugs usually occurs once the bugs have been there for some time. The skins are so small, it usually takes a good amount of them for you to notice them.
Reason for Shedding
Bedbugs feed off the blood of humans and as they become bigger, their skin does not grow with them. They shed the skin for new skin.
This is what is visible once enough skins have been shed to be noticeable. Adult bedbugs will shed their skin up to five times a year.
Appearance of Shedding
The shed skins look like tiny pieces of the inner wrapping or skin of a peanut. They are a reddish brown or black color and crumble easily.
They are usually mixed in with other waste such as fecal matter and the eggshells of the bedbug. The younger the bedbug—the more translucent the skin.
The darker skin is that of an adult bedbug.
Collection of Shedding
Even though these bugs are hard to see, they can grow to the size of an apple seed. When there is light and activity, they stay hidden.
You can find the skin they shed by using a piece of tape and going over the mattress and the linens. This will collect their waste and skin, enough to prove that they are there.
Using a magnifying glass, you will see that the skin that shed looks like a hollow bug. It has tiny hairs and markings.
Shedding on Furniture
Bedbug infestation is not only limited to the bedroom. These bugs can infest any type of furniture that is upholstered.
They can also infest your curtains and draperies. It is easy to spot fecal and blood droppings on a mattress and linens because they are light in color.
On the other furniture, the bedbugs' shedding will probably be your first visible sign that there is an infestation. The spots of waste products are too small to see on colored furniture.