Do Bed Bugs Shed Their Skin?

Do Bed Bugs Shed Their Skin?

Bed bugs are notorious for their stealthiness and tricky hiding spots that make them difficult to eradicate. But did you know that in addition to changing hiding spots, bed bugs can actually shed their skin? Yes, it’s true, these pests can lose their protective exoskeletons so that they can grow and move about. Let’s take a look at what it means for them to molt and whether it helps them outwit pest control methods.

What is Molting?

When bed bugs shed their skin it’s known as molting. The eight-legged insect must shed their skin before they can grow into their next form. They do this several times during their life cycle, called instars. Through molting, bed bugs are able to go from larvae to nymph to adult in a matter of weeks. This is part of why they reproduce so quickly, since they don’t have to wait for long periods of time to grow into adulthood.

What Does Molting Tell Us?

Molting bed bugs can also give us a window into how long they have been in the area. Depending on the age of the bug when you first notice the molt, you may be able to deduce how long they’ve been present in a location.

How Can We Use it?

Now that you know bed bugs molt, you may be wondering how to use that information to your advantage. By notifying a professional pest control specialist when you notice a shed skin, they may have a better sense of how long the bugs have been in the area and which areas require the most attention for extermination.

What Does Molting Mean for Eradication?

Knowing about molting can also help you understand why it’s so hard to eradicate bed bugs. In addition to their skill at hiding, the fact that they must shed their skin several times before they can become an adult means that they can quickly outgrow any treatments or products you use. You may kill off a few bed bugs, but if you don’t get all of the instars and eggs, the problem will keep coming back.

What Can We Do to Prevent Infestations?

When it comes to bed bugs, the best defense is prevention. Here are some tips to help keep bed bugs away:

  • Wash laundry frequently. It’s important to wash your sheets, blankets and clothes regularly so that if any bed bugs try to hitch a ride, they’ll be eliminated in the washing process.
  • Vacuum your home. Vacuuming is one of the best ways to deal with bed bugs. Regularly vacuum your mattresses, couches and carpets to remove any bugs before they have a chance to lay eggs.
  • Check for bedbugs when you travel. Be sure to check for bed bugs when you travel and always keep luggage off the floor of your hotel and motel rooms.

Remember that molting is an important part of the bed bug life cycle and is something to be aware of when it comes to eradicating them. By understanding how they molt and where they could be hiding, you can implement preventative steps and, if necessary, tell a professional pest control specialist when you need help.

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