Masses of bedbud shed skins serve as bedbug habitat

Ryder Richards and I did a bedbug treatment, using Aprehend, for a small group of apartments in Calaveras County. One resident, a senior gentleman, slept on a cot. When we lifted the cot to treat, Ryder saw an accumulation of fluffy material adhering to the underside of the fabric. He realized it was probably a huge mass of bedbug shed skins. We’d not seen anything like this before.

In addition to the material on the underside of the fabric, when we turned the cot upright, a lot more of this material fell out from within the space created where the fabric wrapped around the metal tube framing.

We collected samples, and in the samples were live bedbugs. We froze the sample for a couple of days, and then did a microscopic investigation. Yes, this was nothing but bedbug material: shed skins of all stages of bedbugs, feces, dead bedbugs, and eggs.

The bedbugs had accumulated enough skins and feces to create a habitat that allowed them both harborage and a place to lay eggs. Essentially, their shed skins created a new habitat for them.



Closeup of bedbug living midden. The mass of the material is shed bedbug skins.
Pile of shed bedbug skins, feces, dead bedbugs, and eggs that fell out of the space where the fabric wrapped around the metal tubing. Live bedbugs resided in this mass also.
The floor under the cot.
The midden material poured out of fabric voids when the cot was tipped on its side.
Shed bedbug skins forming a habitat for bedbugs to live in.
Holding the bedbug shed skin structure.