University of Kentucky Research Seeks Bedbug Remedy

Apr 10, 2013

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are working on a new kind of project to combat the spread of bedbugs without the use of potentially harmful chemicals. 

Entomology professor Mike Potter says the team will attempt to replicate a highly successful remedy used centuries ago in Eastern Europe that involves using kidney bean leaves.

“They found that they could sprinkle bean leaves on the floors of their dwellings and capture bedbugs.  The mechanism by which that occurs is through these little plant hairs called trichomes which is a natural defense that plants have to deter attacks by certain types of plant feeding insects," Potter explains.

Scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of California, Irvine are now developing materials that mimic the trichomes on the bean leaves. 

The group’s research findings have been published online in the Journal of the Royal Science interface.