As man still struggles to find a way to overcome the scourge that is bed bugs, it turns out that Mother Nature has already created a highly effective trap for the pests. Using bean leaves was once thought to just be an old folk remedy, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Kentucky have discovered it's actually a very effective way to deal with bed bugs.
Certain varieties of bean leaves that look and feel hairy to us are covered in thousands of tiny curved hairs called trichomes that will actually pierce the legs of bed bugs as they try to traverse them. It was originally thought that the hairs would simply temporarily snag the bugs in a similar fashion to how velcro works, but it's now been confirmed that bed bugs are actually being impaled and permanently trapped as they try to walk across the leaves.
So instead of encouraging someone suffering from a bed bug infestation to grow a garden full of beans, the researchers are working on synthetic versions of the leaves that could be used to cover furniture legs, or other areas where the insects are known to crawl. And when combined with other bed bug treatments it could help guarantee a good night's sleep where you're not constantly under attack.