Why is steel bed fram better than wood?(22 posts)
I just found a bed bug. I have about 5 bites, husband 0. Figures, I'd be the one allergic. I've noticed in reading that it seems like cloth and wood are what the BB like. Is this true? I am living in a very small travel trailer, about 225 sq ft. But of course the whole thing is fake wood. Paneling or something. What in the world do I do?
I've heard that bed bugs like wood (frames) and it's true I have an IKEA wood frame with a TON of hiding places. Metal or steel bed frames tend to have far less places to hide and in some cases I think they have trouble climbing metal or steel bed legs. I could be wrong, someone correct me if I am. I don't know what it is about wood but wood bed frames are never again for me. You mentioned in another post about your mum's house. Are you certain she is infested as well? What's your next move, call a PCO?
Opps! Never mind about your mum's house. I am getting you mixed up with someone you replied to
I called an exterminator. They do a free in home evaluation. The scary thing for us that we live in a travel trailer...everything is wood!!! I think we may be able to remove the wooden platform bed and put in a metal frame...this is awful. Still kinda worried about neighbors seeing the ext. I know I shouldn't care but there really is a stigma about folks with BB.
Although bedbugs do prefer wood materials I actually recommend wood over bed.
The reasoning is quite simple and logical. You want the bedbugs to be easy to detect and have limited places they want to be. A wooden slatted bed with all but the top slat varnished and all of the holes sealed is actually the optimal solution. It means that any bedbugs in the home will associate in areas where they are easy to detect and because of the sealing and optimisation you have done they are also easier to eradicate.
Its another one of my zen and the art of bedbugs concepts which after years of field observation really do work.
With a metal frame bed they either live further away from the bed or in the worst case scenario work their way into the tubes which are much harder to treat. This is also the reason why I am not a fan of isolation devices and barrier based products.
Go wood and limit the refugia and you cant go too far wrong.
Bed Bugs Limited
Bed Bugs prefer wood frames over metal frames due to the warmer constant temperatures, surface textures, and the abundance of cracks and crevices within the wood. We treated two 2500 Sq. Ft. sections of an infested homeless shelter in South FL. in October 2010. One section had all wooden frame bunk beds and the other section had all metal frame bunk beds. We noticed the metal frames were less favored by bed bugs. BB's would interact and track across the metal frames, but they showed a 90% higher ratio to laying eggs and infesting along the mattress and sheets(they had no Box Springs) rather than infesting the metal frames. My research team followed up with extended studies based on the findings at the shelter. We tested both frames in a room with it's thermostat set at 72 degrees for 48 hours, and it showed the wooden frame maintaining a 3.8-5.3 degrees warmer than the metal frames temperature. Second study we examined the differences between the two frames and the amount of BB eggs laid, their hatching times, and mortality differences. We used two types of surfaces exactly matching each frames surface, along with 4 adult male BB's and 6 adult female BB's. First, they were tested in a temperature of 75 degrees for 5 days examining preferred surface and how many eggs would be produced. We did enable the females to feed twice and alternated the males accordingly. After 5 days the females had laid a total of 41 eggs. Out of the 41 eggs laid, 33 had been attached to the wooden frame surface, and only 8 eggs had attached to the metal frame surface. Next we examined the newly laid eggs for 14 days. The results of the eggs on the wooden frame showed 29 out of the 33 had successfully hatched, and all had hatched between day 6 and day 9. The results for the metal frame showed only 4 out 8 eggs had hatched, and all hatched between day 8 and day 13. This study showed that bed bugs do show a definite choice between the two frames when laying their eggs. Also, studies have shown bed bug eggs to be much harder to detect and remove from wooden surfaces than metal surfaces.
Hope this answers your question.
BBJames, thanks so much for the information! That definitely helps! I have a metal bed frame, but I had wood planks underneath the bed...I just got rid of those.
That's an excellent point that David brings up. I never thought of it that way before. I guess it makes me feel a little grateful that I do have a bed full of hiding places because that's probably why my infestation never spread beyond the bed. Kinda creepy thinking about all those bugs together in one place though.
Sometimes logic is just like that, I have long said bedbugs have a different way of doing things than you would first think.
I have recently recruited a cartoonist for my zen and the art of bedbugs project. I will course announce the first online version here.
Can't wait! Thanks David!!!
Thanks everyone. Here's our problem. In a travel trailer the bed is on wooden platform with the mattress on top. Under the mattress is a hinged lid with storage space. Lots of space for the little BB's. Also touching the pillows/mattress on both sides are built in night stands. So everything touches something. To isolate the bed we are going to have to remove the platform and the night stands. I don't mind so much, however, I'm not sure a full/queen will even fit in that space. Our mattress is a smaller Queen. Sheets are quite loose on the mattress... I woke up in the night and one was on me. I just grabbed it and threw it!! I should have squished it but it really freaks me out. I want to give up everything we own and just move out!!! My husband doesn't believe me when I tell him how awful it is to get rid of these. He says "it can't be that bad". In 29 years of marriage I really think this is the WORST thing that has happened. Also, can anyone tell me how having a dog effects this? We love our Golden (1 year old) and she is our child. I don't know how we are going to keep her off the bed (if we can isolate it...). Living in a TT it is a very small space for the 3 of us. Any advice is welcome. If anyone wants to give me some additional help please email me.
Also, studies have shown bed bug eggs to be much harder to detect and remove from wooden surfaces than metal surfaces.
Why are bed bugs harder to detect and remove from wooden surfaces than metal surfaces?
I have a bed frame that is entirely metal. How I should go about treating it if I have an infestation?
I would steam a wooden frame, but there are too many places where bed bugs could be hiding within the hollow metal structure. I haven't found any evidence the sheets (with the exception of one tiny black spot on mattress cover that might be fecal) and it's unlikely that bed bugs are climbing onto my bed each night, since I have a climb-up interceptor on each leg.
It really depends on the frame. If there is no way to enter the tubes it can be cleaned. In my case I thought for a long time that the frame was closed, but the bugs found ways to enter the frame. I have never found the exact spot, but I think it must be the places where the springs are stamped to the frame. I have lost a lot of time trying to seal them up. Maybe the modern frame bottoms are designed better than mine.
I have to say that with all the metal beds I have encountered modern or old I am yet to encounter one which I feel can be efficiently sealed or optimised for bedbug encounters.
In fact a few months ago I turned down a consultancy project to work with a metal bed manufacturer who wanted to optimise their product against bedbugs. I think they thought it would be a $2,000 project but were a little shocked when I predicted the total cost would be in the region of $300,000 by the time they reworked the whole manufacturing process to remove the "weak points".
It only takes a small hole into a protected environment to cause a prolonged issue and therefore I will stick with the simple advice of wood is best if prepared and optimised.
Just throwing my two cents in. Just a reminder to try and steer away from Captains and platform style beds as the Capt. style must be emptied and turned over and the platform may need to be disassembled for inspection and or treatment.
While I agree with Winston about avoiding certain styles of beds, I also can say that all metal and/or wooden frame beds have access points which can be easily penetrated by bed bugs. I would like to add, because of so many unique situations of bed bugs, I have become experienced in many different styles and methods of treatments when eliminating bed bugs. One of these styles of treatments which I have used for metal frames is direct contact heating. However, I only use this style of treatment on metals (frames). The success of the treatment is due to the conductivty of the materials, allowing for the heat to be distributed evenly within the metal frame. Please note, I only use this as one of our many procedures when treating for bed bugs and not as a preventitive tactic and/or a single procedure against eliminating bed bugs. You should also know, that by using a wooden frame bed, you will not consolidate the orgin of your bed bugs. The reason is due to female bed bugs seeking areas that are unoccupied by male bed bugs. This is to avoid the male bed bugs repetitive attempts of traumatic insemination mating practices. Finally kctarafied asked, "Why are bed bugs harder to detect and remove from wooden surfaces than metal surfaces?" The reason for detection, is due to the wooden frames having so many natural cracks/crevices(splits, knots, overlays, etc..) and also the assembly of the wooden frames having gaps between the joints. The reason for being harder to remove from wooden surfaces, is focused on mostly the eggs. Female bed bugs lay their eggs using a sticky glue like adhesive, which allows for a firm attatchment upon any surface. Wooden frames are much more porous than metal frames, this enables the eggs epoxy like substance to penetrate deeper into the materials and making the eggs much harder to remove.
Hope this answered your questions kctarafied
I just wanted to clarify something, I think you may have miss understood from my post.
With regards optimising the environment and sealing cracks, crevices and varnishing all but the top slat of the bed I am not looking at this as a treatment option this is to be done when clear or in advance of an infestation. Thus by limiting the potential refugia to a target area they are easier to inspect for, easier to detect and thus you end up dealing with lighter infestations.
I have deployed this simple design lead strategy in hotels, hostels and university accommodation with great success over the last 3 years but the key factor still remains that you have to detect early so that the issue is easier to deal with.
I am sorry but I don't follow you logic with regards the glue on eggs penetrating surfaces as in most active infestations the deposited eggs are hatched already as the window for them to hatch is small. That having been said regardless of the surface they can be easily crushed with a small amount of pressure. The fact however remains that on metal beds I find the eggs deposited in harder to reach locations than with wooden frames. I also note from work I have done with other countries this appears to be true and a conversation I had with a west coast entomologist would appear to support it as well.
Also I don't think the latest information supports the belief that female bedbugs flee to escape traumatic insemination. I fear this is us humans applying our thought processes on the bedbugs. Certainly in some of the more extreme cases I have worked on in conjunction with entomologists there was no statistically significant change in the sex ratio close to the host versus away from the host which would be required to support that dispersal theory.
Happy to discuss in more detail via email if you want to.
I will start by saying, I appreciate your work and have great respect for your knowledge on bed bugs. I really would prefer not to turn this thread into a confusing debate about selected choices, You said "I just wanted to clarify something, I think you may have miss understood from my post." David the original posted question was based on a reactive situation and she also wanted to know, "I've noticed in reading that it seems like cloth and wood are what the BB like. Is this true?" Next post was by Jenn28 which commented about metal frames comparing to wooden by stating "Metal or steel bed frames tend to have far less places to hide and in some cases I think they have trouble climbing metal or steel bed legs. I don't know what it is about wood but wood bed frames are never again for me.." You gave your reasons on how wood was the way to go. Then I shared studies of metal surfaces comparing to wooden surfaces. Then explained if bed bugs were to infest metal tubes or any other areas on metal frames, they can be easily treated by heat. I truly understand your concept and direction with sealing C & C's on wooden frame beds. After saying that, if you have bed bugs on your frame and you need to treat the bed frame, my way to go is heating the metal frame. This prevents having to treat with toxic chemicals and/or dusting, which would be absorbed into the wooden beds.
I'm not saying right or wrong David, just explaining my method of treating.
You said you did not understand the logic of the eggs and explained how they can be crushed with a small amount of pressure. Surely with your experience your aware that bed bugs prefer to lay their eggs upon materials and surfaces which are rough and not smooth. Also you said it was of human assumption and no entomologist gave evidence of females wandering due to mating habits. I've posted a link of a study by known entomologists which back my statements. By no means do I discredit your work David, and I hope we can help each other towards the future of eliminating BB's.
P.S. After reading the studies in this link below, please feel free to Email me.
Dr. James Miller
No offense meant or taken, I enjoy a good debate of an issue and as long as its civil I am happy.
My experience is based on field observation and in particular a few key nightmare scenarios which over the years I have had to fix, such as:
A good quality London hotel that was told to reduce the bedbug issue they should replace all the beds with metal ones, the cost was in the region of $450 per bed with about 150 beds replaced and mattress encasement's for all the new mattresses. Having spent all this money they reduced the number of bedbugs living in the bed structure but simply pushed them out to harder to treat parts of the room such as behind the integrated headboards and fixtures. The pest controller soon after gave up on the site and left them with a large bill and 35% of the rooms infested.
Had the beds not been replaced the infestation would still have been localised and thus easier to treat and the hotel would not have spent out needlessly.
I really do appreciate the method you have developed for treating tubing, I know others who do something similar with commercial spaces where the seats are all tubular construction to reduce weight.
However I feel that in the battle of bedbugs I am no longer as keen to be seen in the treatment end of the spectrum, to be there is to already admit that you have lost the first battle and wish to join the war later. Thus for me a well optimised environment with sealed cracks and crevices combined with a model harbourage capable of detecting the presence of bedbugs is the first line of defence. When implemented correctly you don't need to perform any level of chemical treatment as the bedbugs will all be present in the refugia and can easily be removed by monitor replacement and any stragglers dealt with with a vacuum or steam cleaner.
The proof of this is the number of hotel in London that now have been using this system for 2.5 years and many of them we have never needed to treat, they do all the detect and front line control themselves by acting proactively rather than reactively.
With regards the thesis I will read it when I have time, I appreciate the efforts of lab based scientists but the reality of the bedbug issue is that it is a field based science and thus should be studied in the field first and foremost. Yes this is difficult given the nature of the problem but is also one of the key reasons why I always invite Richard Naylor of Sheffield University to come and collect data from our heaviest cases. I know from his field data and observations the dispersal of bedbugs is not skewed by gender to a statistically significant degree.
I would also not that although bedbugs do seem to prefer to lay eggs on keyed surfaces they have a higher imperative to lay eggs close to a source of food. I suspect this is a hard wired survival strategy in the females, in fact EffeCi's fantastic images of a metal frame bed illustrate this perfectly.
Therefore If you don't want to have bedbugs dispersed into more remote locations and you want to detect early a simple wooden slatted bed with sealing of potential refugia and optimisation of detectable harbourages is the best way forward based on our field data.
I would have more respect for the current academic research efforts if they got out of the lab once or twice a week and studied in the field with pest controllers actively tackling the problem. It would certainly stop some of the errors which we still see being presented such as the statement that bedbugs are nocturnal, they simply are not, they are obligate blood feeders who will adapt to the pattern of available food. They have had millenia to adapt along side us and are very efficient parasites of man with some highly adapted behavioral patterns.
The reality with this type of work is that after years of doing it and thousands and thousands of cases I can only conclude that most people are still focusing at the wrong stage of the process of an infestation and until everyone steps forward and looks at the start of the issue most people are doomed to failure be they pest controllers, DIY'ers or academics. I suppose I prefer to design the stable door better so I don't need to run around long after the horse has bolted.
If you want to come out in the field with us and see this in action let me know, I am sure we can help you with a grant application to cover the travel.
Gah... Now I have to buy a new bed frame in order to keep safe from bedbugs?!
Why don't I just give all my money to the exterminators right now?
Exterminators don't sell beds and what type of bed you have has no bearing on if you get bedbugs.
I think you may need to calm your worries and chat this one through with a therapist.
Heh, you mistook my sentence about the exterminators. Never mind about that part.
The reason for my concern is that I have a metal bed frame (a cheapo "default" one from the bed store), and this thread seems to be telling me that when it comes to bedbugs, that having it is ASKING FOR TROUBLE.
IOW, it seems that the info in this thread is encouraging me to buy a wooden bedframe so bedbugs will nest there and not elsewhere, and where it's relatively easy to clean 'em out. How much of my life do I have to upend, how much money do I have to spend, where does it end? That's where I was coming from.
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