can bed bugs climb up metal
Kristina Davis

Can bed bugs climb up metal? You believe knowing the answer to this question will make you sleep better at night.

The mention of bed bugs gives us instant heebie-jeebies. Our fingers instantly scratch the imagined itch.

Chances are if this keeps you up at night, you got bugs.

Okay, to kill the suspense, the answer is yes, bed bugs climb up metal. Sorry. Although these pests prefer surfaces with textures like wood, fabric, and walls, they’re climbers too.

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Bedbugs, Cimex lectularius, are gross insects that have plagued people for eons. But that’s okay. We’ll talk you through the methods to banish them.

Before You Panic, We’ll Need To:

  • Identify them
  • Establish how they got there
  • Form a plan of attack
  • Get a good vacuum
  • Consider hiring a professional

To ease your mind somewhat, you’re not alone. There are solutions you can tackle.

What Are Bed Bugs?

what are bed bugs

The worst thing you can do is pretend that you don’t have a problem. That itchy bite mark on your arm or leg didn’t come from a ladybug, though other bugs like mosquitos or chiggers bite.

It’s essential to establish the source.

Bedbugs are:

  • Small like an Appleseed
  • Great at hiding
  • Reproduce quickly
  • Invasive
Tip: Different insects come into your homes from time to time. Some are beneficial; others, like bed bugs, need to be eliminated at the first sign.

Learning to identify bed bugs is the first step. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse.

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Plan of Attack

Bed bugs like to hide. Although they prefer darkness, keeping the light on will not make them miraculously disappear.

You must strip your bedding and vacuum the bed thoroughly for miniature, almost invisible eggs.

Dismantle the entire bed and move it away from the wall. This may sound drastic, but these critters are expert hiders.

Can bed bugs climb up metal bed frames? Yes, and other smooth surfaces.

Tip: Vacuum inside hollow legs and around furniture legs.

How to Vacuum:

  • Vacuum slowly and thoroughly in an even pattern
  • Pay attention to seams and piping
  • Vacuum walls, floorboard, carpeting
  • Vacuum all furniture legs, hollow legs, inside drawers

Using a powerful vacuum with a nozzle feature and HEPA filter is a great start. Make sure you empty the receptacle outside of the home. Wash the filters.

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bed vacuum

It’s crucial to suction every crevice. Vacuum every seam line, every minute opening in floorboards, and remain vigilant for signs afterward.

Believe it or not, bed bugs aren’t particular whether you’re a good housekeeper or not.

If you have a bug problem, the deeper you dig, the signs become more apparent.

  • Rusty stains
  • Bite marks
  • Blood on your sheets
  • Seeing these unusual looking critters

Those are dead giveaways that you have the beginnings of a problem or a full-blown invasion.

As an extra precaution, dragging duct tape, sticky side out, along the mattress works for picking up random eggs that may be missed by vacuuming.

Tip: Unhatched eggs look similar to rice grains.

Where Else?

You’re probably exhausted from dismantling your bedroom. You’ve attacked the mattress, the box spring, and every article of furniture and soft goods in the bedroom.

But bed bugs are champion hide-and-seek players. You’re not done! This is a good time to be a fanatic.

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Bed Bugs also Like to Hide in:

  • Seams of chairs, sofas, curtains
  • Drawer joints
  • Electrical receptacles and appliances
  • Loose wallpaper and behind wall hangings
  • Any junction like corners, baseboards, and trim

There’s good news. I know you’re waiting for some. While bedbugs spread like wildfire, evidence suggests they don’t spread diseases.

The downside is that you may have to repeat this process.

Tip: Look for an accumulation of poop spots.

Washing and Drying

washing and dying fabric

Okay, another minor hurdle. Some bed bugs may survive the washing machine. It’s the dryer that cooks them into crispy critters.

Washing every soft fabric is essential. While the impulse might just be to burn your bedding, it’s not necessary.

As soon as you strip the bed, put the bedding into the washing machine.

Place garments and bedding into a plastic trash bag if you’re using a laundry room facility. Seal for transport. You don’t want to be part of a bed bug relocation program.

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How to Wash:

  • Separate according to label washing instructions
  • Wash at a high temperature if you can
  • Repeat if it makes you feel better
  • Dry at the highest heat suitable for the material
  • If transporting in a trash bag, use a new one
  • The jury is still out if dry cleaning eliminates bugs
Tip: Also wash any clothing discarded on the floor or in the laundry hamper.  If I were you, I’d wash every garment in the house.

One More Tip About Washing:

Soft fabrics like decorator cushions and stuffed toys should also go for a ride in the dryer on the highest cycle.

Cat and dog bedding is sometimes difficult to clean. Consider replacing them.

A bed bug’s primary food source is mammals —you, the dog, the cat. They’re not picky as long as it’s warmblooded.

How Did The Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?

how bed bugs get home

It’s an easy and difficult question to answer, and many theories abound. Travel has perhaps been the most significant contributor to the bed bug situation.

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Bed bugs enjoy a cheap holiday and don’t mind being a stowaway in your luggage.

Another factor is imported goods and that we frequent thrift stores, yard sales, etc. No one is accusing anyone of being a harbinger of bed bugs; they’ve existed for a long time.

Bed bugs sometimes plague even the best hotels in the world. Cleanliness doesn’t impact the life of this insect at all.

Tip: When traveling, use the luggage stand, though it’s not 100% foolproof. 

We already discussed that bed bugs ‘can’ climb up metal. Instead of plopping your suitcase on the bed to unpack, use that weird little stand hotels provide.

Chemical Concoctions

There’s no shame in resorting to chemical warfare. This is your home and well-being.

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The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests 300 known chemical solutions treat and prevent bed bug infestations.

Most of these are safe enough for consumers to employ. In worst-case scenarios, extra potent treatments require professional application. This keeps you and your family safe from harmful exposure.

Tip: For repeated applications, switch to different chemical solutions to prevent resistance.

1. Pyrethrins And Pyrethroids

Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are two of the most common compounds on the market.

The first compound is derived from the flower chrysanthemums, and the second is synthetic.

These compounds often eliminate the bugs. However, they may also flush them from hiding and force them into relocating to other areas. Be diligent.

2. Desiccants

Desiccants like (specific grades of) boric acid or diatomaceous earth destroy the bugs’ waxy outer coating.

3. Biochemicals

Biochemicals like neem oil are insecticide treatments harvested from the Neem tree.

4. Neonicotinoid

Neonicotinoid is synthetic nicotine that attacks the nervous system. It’s effective against resistant bugs. (If you hear a tiny smoker’s coughs, it’s working.)

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Calling a Professional

calling pest control professional

If you can afford it, calling a professional is a great solution. However, you may still have to do some menial chores yourself.

Read Next: How to Remove Bed Bugs From Wood Furniture?

Final Verdict – Coping With Bedbugs

So, can bed bugs climb up metal? Absolutely. It’s just another fallacy in a long list of myths concerning bed bugs.

Evidence suggests they don’t spread disease, but they’re a classified pest that can cause health issues for some people.

Bed bugs may also become resistant to the chemical applications you or your professional pest control expert decide to apply. Eliminating bed bugs is a process and seldom a one cure for all.

While a clean home isn’t a deterrent, it makes it easier for bed bugs to hide.

For now, good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite!