How to Get Bedbugs to ‘Leaf’ You Alone
Those suffering from bedbugs may try freezing, burning, or poisoning the pests, often to no avail. Now, researchers have provided evidence that a Balkan folk remedy is effective—and inflicts a deliciously nasty end on the itch-inducing bloodsuckers. For centuries, people in the Balkans protected themselves against bedbugs—among them the common species Cimex lectularius seen on the left—by scattering bean plant leaves next to their beds, then burning the leaves in the morning. To find out how the method works, researchers filmed bedbugs as they scuttled across kidney bean leaves, which are covered in microscopic hairs; the image on the right shows the hairs in green and a bedbug leg. Within seconds of stepping onto a leaf, the bugs got entangled in the hairs, which tethered the pests in place.
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