Make some popcorn and pull up a seat - It’s Team Kidney Bean Leaves versus Team Bed Bugs, and it’s taking the “green approach” to a completely new level!
In the early twentieth century, housewives in Eastern Europe used kidney bean leaves to battle bed bugs. They scattered leaves on floors of rooms infested with these bloodsuckers and, in the morning, hundreds of bed bugs would be stuck to the leaves. The buggy leaves would then be collected and burned.
How does this little leaf combat bed bugs?
Kidney bean leaves have microscopic hook-like hairs that stab the bed bugs through their feet and trap them. And now, American scientists are studying how the kidney bean leaf functions, with the goal of duplicating its bed bug-catching qualities.
A synthetic version of the kidney bean leaf could become an important tool for pest management professionals to stop bed bugs. However, creating a material that mimics the leaf has been challenging. Many of the artificial hairs break during the molding process and scientists have yet to figure out how to make these tiny hairs hollow like the kidney bean leaf.
Some folks may think that the idea of developing a trap for bed bugs by studying the kidney bean leaf is just silly. But, with the bed bug situation only going to get worse, every possible means of addressing the problem must be examined no matter how strange it may sound. If scientists can discover how to replicate the leaf’s ensnaring properties, it would be an efficient non-chemical method in the battle against the bed bug.