Scientists mimic leaves to trap bedbugs

At last, a way to snag bedbugs before they get in your bed. Researchers in the U.K. have designed a contraption that mimics nature in trapping the little pests.

As the insects have developed a resistance to many pesticides, bedbug infestations have risen significantly in recent years. But the scientists took a different approach, modeling their trap on the hooked hairs found on leaves. In theory, the material would be used to line the walls of homes and the bedbugs would be trapped before they have a chance to multiply and take up residence in a mattress.

The concept for the trap is based on an old remedy for pests used in Bulgaria and Serbia, where kidney-bean leaves were scattered on the floor next to beds and furniture to trap the bugs. With the help of microscopes, the scientists were able to see that the hooks on the leaves actually impaled the feet of the bugs.

The synthetic material, detailed in the Journal of the Royal Society, was not as effective in stopping the bugs as the real thing, and some experts questioned how effective it could be since bedbugs can squeeze into almost any space and avoid it. But its inventors feel that at the very least, it could be a good tool for monitoring the presence of bedbugs before they get out of control.

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Sourced from: BBC News, Leaf-like material 'traps bedbugs', say researchers