Are you looking for an eco-friendly bed bug remedy?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals.”

  • Bed bugs are not socio-economically oriented
  • Bed bugs are not hygiene related
  • Bed bugs avoid light, they seek the dark  and come out at night

A recent scientific article published in the Journal of the Royal Society deals with an “old time “ remedy used in the Balkans, namely bean leaves strewn about the floor around the bed. It worked, but essentially it was replaced by DDT, and now no one wants to use DDT.

Here’s an abstract from the artcile:

Resurgence in bed bug infestations and widespread pesticide resistance have greatly renewed interest in the development of more sustainable, environmentally friendly methods to manage bed bugs. Historically, in Eastern Europe, bed bugs were entrapped by leaves from bean plants, which were then destroyed; this purely physical entrapment was related to microscopic hooked hairs (trichomes) on the leaf surfaces. Using scanning electron microscopy and videography, we documented the capture mechanism: the physical impaling of bed bug feet (tarsi) by these trichomes. This is distinct from a Velcro-like mechanism of non-piercing entanglement, which only momentarily holds the bug without sustained capture. Struggling, trapped bed bugs are impaled by trichomes on several legs and are unable to free themselves. Only specific, mechanically vulnerable locations on the bug tarsi are pierced by the trichomes, which are located at effective heights and orientations for bed bug entrapment despite a lack of any evolutionary association. Using bean leaves as templates, we microfabricated surfaces indistinguishable in geometry from the real leaves, including the trichomes, using polymers with material properties similar to plant cell walls. These synthetic surfaces snag the bed bugs temporarily but do not hinder their locomotion as effectively as real leaves.

The article is called “Entrapment of Bed Bugs by Leaf Trichomes inspires microfabrication of biomimetic surfaces” authored by Megan W. Szyndler, Kenneth F. Haynes, Michael Potter, Robert Corn and Catherine Loudon

You can read the entire article which includes some slow motion vidoes showing how the leaves actually entrap the bed bugs:

Assuming that you don’t have access to DDT, then, this remedy should be eco-friendly and effective.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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