At the University of California, Irvine, biologist and engineer Catherine Loudon is working to create synthetic surfaces that could trap bed bugs. She was inspired by the tiny hooked hairs that grow from the leaves of some varieties of beans, such as kidney and green beans. In nature, these hairs, called trichomes, pierce through the feet of the aphids and leafhoppers that like to feed on the plants.
“Residents of the Balkan countries used to spread bean leaves around their beds, and in the morning they’d find bed bugs attached to them. It turns out that the bed bugs’ feet were getting impaled by the hooked hairs on the bean leaves, called trichomes. Researchers have found that trichomes are just as effective against bed bugs, even though they don’t feed on leaves.”
Loudon’s goal is to mimic a bean leaf’s mechanism to create an inexpensive, portable bed bug trap the bugs can’t escape from. Once the trichomes pierce their “feet” they can’t escape. Researchers have found that these pointy hairs are just as effective against bed bugs, even though the bloodsucking parasites don’t feed on leaves.
How bed bug traps really work
While a bean leaf or synthetic trap may keep a bed bug trapped, it relies on a bed bug finding and making full contact with the trap. This is not a reliable method as there will be bed bugs who never make contact with the trap. They’re not evil masterminds, they just want to feed “on you” and then go mate and lay eggs. That’s all they do. It is not practical that you could cover every surface a bed bug might take to get to you with a trap like this. With bed bugs a trap has to be very close to 100% effective.
And that’s why the Intercepter Traps are what we recommend. They are very effective at trapping bed bugs trying to reach you from the floor to get to your bed, or more specifically, you.
To be effective, intercepter traps require that you have also isolated your bed, so you know that there are no bed bugs on your bed, frame, pillows, mattress or bedding. Have the intercepter traps ready when you do your bed so you can put them under the legs at the same time you know your bed, bedding, etc., are bed bug free. Isolating your bed also means the bed and bedding are approximately six inches from any wall. Your bed is an island and the only thing that touches it, is you.
Once your bed is isolated and you have traps, you can now go back to sleeping soundly because your bed is now a protected island. You will also know if you still have bed bugs because you can see them in the traps (get the white traps). You will know if you don’t have bed bugs if you stop seeing them in the traps. You will have to check and clean them out to monitor the situation but it’s worth it.
NOTE:An isolated bed means you do not put things that are not you on the bed. Do not wear socks in bed if you’ve walked around your house in them. Don’t put coats, backpacks, purses, etc., on your bed during your infestation. You can’t risk or do you want to risk putting a bed bug or egg on your bed after you’ve gone to the effort to isolate it.