Have a Bed Bug Problem? Here’s What you Need to Know
A bed bug infestation is a camp owners worst nightmare. These miniature monsters will completely overrun your facility if left untreated. Camps are one of the primary targets for bed bugs and if not caught in the beginning stages can become a costly infestation. So does having metal beds solve your bed bug problem?
Noticing several articles encouraging camp owners to switch their beds from wood to metal got me digging. After hours of research I realized that most blogs and articles making claims to switch to metal bunk beds are somehow tied to metal bunk bed manufacturers. What I’ve learned is that bed bugs have absolutely no preference of surface. So don’t be fooled by claims stating that metal bunks will eliminate your bed bug problem.
Bed bugs seek out dark and tight spaces, no matter the material. It may seem that wooden bunk bed frames would have more cracks and are more porous than metal. This could potentially be true if your wood is not treated and sealed properly- however if you have purchased your wooden bunks from any camp furniture manufacturer the beds should be finished with high grade sealant that prevents any infiltration of the wood grain itself. There are however still creases where the wood pieces join but it is impossible to have a ‘creaseless’ construction in any bed. Bed bugs favor cracks, crevices and places to hide- according to this ACA article (Over 201 Things to Know about Bed Bugs) they can hide within mattresses, sofa seams, cracks in the bed frame and/or head board (metal or wood), under chairs, couches, beds and dust covers, under rugs, edges of carpets, drawers, baseboards and window casings, behind light switches, electrical outlet plates, cracks in plaster, televisions, radio clocks and phones, backpacks, sleeping bags, clothes, behind wallpaper, picture frames, and other dark areas. So not only is it necessary to treat your bed frames and bedding- but also the flooring, base boards, walls and essentially every surface within the infected space.
Replacing all of your bed frames, bedding and other materials and furniture within the space would potentially rid you of your bed bug infestation entirely, especially if you treat all other areas of the space. However your result would not differ between replacing your furniture with all plastic, metal or properly treated wood. Not only is it incredibly expensive to change out furniture every time there is an infestation, its also not environmentally friendly. Beds must be deconstructed before treatment to ensure all cracks and crevices are reached. In most cases high end hotels and resorts have their rooms treated with chemicals, heat/steam and isolation techniques. It is also a great idea to consider having bed bug treatments done as a preventative. Taking preventative actions is much more cost effective in the long run. Having your entire facility treated several times or making the decision to replace all of your furniture are both incredibly expensive options, especially considering there is potential for infestation in the future.
Terminix and Orkin both agree that bed bugs have no preference to wood vs. metal: Do Bed Bugs Live in Wooden or Metal Beds? – ATOM | Can Bed Bugs Live in Wood? | Terminix