Can Bed Bugs Live in Metal Bed Frames?

Can Bed Bugs Live in Metal Bed Frames?

Yes, bed bugs can live on metal bed frames. They can live in almost any material, metal being one of them, but if they had a choice, they prefer warmer surfaces like fabric or wood. Metal is a cooler material, so it is less appealing to bed bugs when compared to fabric or wood.

What are the signs that I have bed bugs?

The most obvious sign that you currently have bed bugs is the presence of live, adult bed bugs. If you are able to, pick one up with tweezers and place in a small ziploc baggie to show your exterminator.

Other signs of a bed bug infestation are blood stains on your sheets, mattress, and pillow cases, as well as dark, almost black, ink stain-looking spots that are caused by bed bug feces. The presence of bed bug eggs and their shells, as well as the discarded exoskeletons that baby bed bugs, or nymphs, grow out of are also telling of the presence and degree of infestation you currently have.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs tend to prefer coming out at night, because that is when most people sleep. When a person sleeps is the bed bug’s preferred time of feeding because they are able to feed in peace because their host is unconscious.

During the day, bed bugs liked to hide away in places that keep them from being spotted. When  not actively feeding, bed bugs are in their hiding spots either laying their eggs or simply digesting their latest blood meal.

Bed bugs like hiding places that are close to where their hosts sleep or rest. Bed bugs only need physical contact with their host during feeding, so after feeding they can be found on your mattress, box spring, and bed frame. As the infestation starts to grow and spread, they can make their way onto any furniture close to your bed, behind peeling wallpaper, wall cracks, between floorboards, behind baseboards, behind electrical outlets and your carpet.

The bed bug’s flat body shape allows it to hide in the small joints, gaps, cracks, and crevices in your house.

While bed bugs do prefer residing in your bedroom, they can also thrive in other parts of the house. Some people like to lounge and nap in the living room, so when bed bugs catch wind of this, they will infest your couch and feed on family members that lay on it. Other spots in public that bed bugs can also infest are seats on public transportation, movie theater chairs, and office or lounge chairs that are upholstered. The best way to reduce the chances of bringing home a bed bug with you while in public transportation is to place your bags on your lap instead of the ground or on the seat. When traveling and staying in hotels, place your luggage inside the bathroom first while you inspect the room for bed bugs.

Where do bed bugs hide their eggs?

Pregnant bed bugs will find secure and secluded places to lay their eggs in. The ideal spot is close to their human host, because they will still need to be feeding regularly to lay the healthiest eggs possible. They will look for small gaps in your mattress, box spring, bed frame, and headboard.

When a bed bug lays its eggs, it also produces a glue-like substance that helps the eggs stay in place and stick to the surface it was laid on. One female bed bug can potentially produce up to 400 eggs in its lifetime.

Bed bug eggs are pearly white and measure about 1mm in length. They are quite difficult to spot with the naked eye and you may need a magnifying glass to do so. In ideal environments, bed bug eggs can hatch within a week after being laid. It takes longer for the eggs to hatch in colder temperatures. Nymphs will start looking for a blood meal as soon as possible.

You may have a difficult time locating where these bed bug eggs are, that is why it is always smart to hire a professional to make sure all of the bed bug’s hiding spots are uncovered, thus taken cared off more efficiently.

Can bed bugs climb metal?

Yes, bed bugs can climb metal. Metal may be a lot smoother than the surfaces bed bugs prefer to climb, but they can definitely scale up metal if they need to. If the metal surface is textured, the bed bug will have an easier time climbing it.

If you think using a metal bed frame will deter bed bugs, you are sadly mistaken. Bed bugs know that in order to feed on you, they need to climb the metal, which they will. It may take more effort and time if compared to wood or even plastic, but they will do it, eventually.

Do bed bugs live in metal bed frames?

Yes, bed bugs can live in metal bed frames. They may not like it as much as other materials, but bed bugs will live on any surface if they need to, as long as it is close to their human host.

Bed bugs like to hide out on warm surfaces, so if they had a choice, they will hide out in wooden bed frames, or on fabric surfaces. Wood expands and contracts depending on the weather, so there are cracks forming constantly. The more cracks form, the more choices for hiding places the growing bed bug population will have.

As mentioned above, just because metal bed frames are not ideal for bed bugs, does not mean that it will deter bed bugs completely. Bed bugs will climb any surface as long as it gets them to their host.


Yes, bed bugs can live in metal bed frames. Although they prefer more textured surfaces, like wood or fabric, bed bugs are able to climb and live on any surface as long as it keeps them close to their human host. So, even though metal bed frames are not ideal for bed bugs, it will not keep them away from your mattress, or you, at all.

Image: / Kristen Prahl