Skip to comments.How a Leafy Folk Remedy Stopped Bedbugs in Their Tracks
Posted on 04/12/2013 8:50:30 PM PDT by LibWhacker
Generations of Eastern European housewives doing battle against bedbugs spread bean leaves around the floor of an infested room at night. In the morning, the leaves would be covered with bedbugs that had somehow been trapped there. The leaves, and the pests, were collected and burned by the pound, in extreme infestations.
Now a group of American scientists is studying this bedbug-leaf interaction, with an eye to replicating natures Roach Motel.
A study published Wednesday in The Journal of the Royal Society Interface details the scientists quest, including their discovery of how the bugs get hooked on the leaves, how the scientists have tried to recreate these hooks synthetically and how their artificial hooks have proved to be less successful than the biological ones.
At first glance, the whole notion seems far-fetched, said Catherine Loudon, a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, who specializes in bedbug locomotion.
If someone had suggested to me that impaling insects with little tiny hooks would be a valid form of pest control, I wouldnt have given it credence, she said in an interview. You can think of lots of reasons why it wouldnt work. Thats why its so amazing.
But even though there is no indication that the bean leaves and the bedbugs evolved to work together, the leaves are fiendishly clever in exploiting the insects anatomy. Like the armor covering knights in medieval times, the bedbugs exoskeleton has thinner areas where its legs flex and its tiny claws protrude like the spot where a greave, or piece of leg armor, ends.
The areas where they appear to be pierceable, Dr. Loudon said, are not the legs themselves. Its where they bend, where its thin. Thats where they get pierced.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Which bean plants do they use for the piercing leaves? My cousin has a bad bedbug problem in his apratment building.
It would have been helpful if the author had stated which variety of bean leaves - lima, green, pinto, fava?
Isn’t this similar to what borax?? does to fleas?
A few years back, I had a pretty bad flea infestation. (No pets, but there were tons of feral cats hanging around)
I bought a 3 lb jar of this stuff called “Fleabusters”
Still have almost 3 lbs!
Only used maybe two tablespoons of the stuff spread around and NO FLEAS! The fleas BIT THE DUST!
Orthoboric acid, 64%
Not cheap, $45 for 3 lbs, but genocide for fleas!
The video linked in the article identifies them as kidney bean leaves.
“...scientists from the University of Kentucky and University of California-Irvine think they’ve found an ingenious and natural method to eradicate bedbugs using kidney bean leaves, which have a unique design in their hairs that ensnares the pests. “
kidney bean leaves
you can google it
I wonder if that is accurate, or if that could have been written with just a little more detail which would have made it accurate?
Ok, found another article that states it is kidney bean leaves and more specifically the underside of the kidney bean leaf having the hooks. Now, if only they’d said which side to place upwards. If the bedbugs crawl across the floor, then bottom side down or if they fall off from up high somewhere and onto the leaves then bottom side up. Maybe just go with half one way and half the other. Wonder if this works with other bugs? Wonder if other varieties of bean leaves work, too. Squash and cucumbers have hairy leaves but it doesn’t slow down squash bugs so there’s something unique with the kidney bean leaves. This might explain why beans usually aren’t bothered by bugs. Hmm, something to think about.
The first response to the article from David B of Maryland mentioned kidney bean leaf, but he too asked which variety? So, now you know where to google.
Whats wrong with spraying Raid? :-)
it dries up the kidney bean leaves....
Another method. Search engine food- grade diatomaceous earth and cedar oil to get rid of bed bugs. I know a landlord who uses both with great success.
“I remember when America was great, we used DDT and we didnt import people wholesale from the third world hellholes.”
Orthoboric acid? Is that a specialty product?
I got a 1-lb container of 100% boric acid for an ant infestation a couple of years ago for $2.00 at either Family Dollar or Dollar General.
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