An old folk remedy for bed bugs is being studied by scientists.
The remedy — which comes from Eastern Europe — uses bean leaves to capture the parasites, reports The New York Times.
Bean leaves are spread around the room with bed bugs. Each leaf is covered in thousands of tiny hooks — similar to velcro — that catch the insects. The hooks manage to pierce the insects where their exoskeleton is thinnest. The leaves are gathered in the morning and burned to kill the bugs.
The study — soon to be published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface — examined how science can recreate the hooks and reduce the blight of bed bugs. Using modern polymers, the researchers are trying to manufacture a similar solution to control the pests. So far it hasn’t worked, but they remain hopeful.
“If someone had suggested to me that impaling insects with little tiny hooks would be a valid form of pest control, I wouldn’t have given it credence,” says Dr. Catherine Loudon, the head of the research team.
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