We’ve been reading all over–even in the New York Times!–about an old home remedy for bed bugs: bean leaves. In the days before pesticides and heat treatment, I’m sure anything was better than nothing, but let’s look deeper.

How does it work?

Bean leaves have a surface covered with tiny hooks. When strewn on the floor at night, when bed bugs come out, they get stuck on the hooks and the more they struggle to escape the more trapped they become. Collect and burn the leaves in the morning and you could keep a bed bug infestation under some control.

“On the natural leaves, bugs were snagged, on average, after six steps, or locomotory cycles. (In one cycle, each of the insect’s six legs moves once.) Once stuck, they tried to free themselves, but they usually ended up just flailing in place around the impaled limb.” —New York Times

Scientists have been trying to create an artificial replacement for the bean leaves, but the substitutes have not been as successful as the original.

Our take?

If there were no other method for dealing with bed bugs, this would definitely be an improvement on throwing everything away and moving or just living with them forever. It must have been kind of fun to burn those bugs in the morning, especially if you caught a lot of them! But the big problem here is that it only deals with adult bed bugs.

What about the EGGS!?

Today, you have options for dealing with bed bug infestations. You could move out of your house for a few days and have it fumigated with pesticides, come back and clean and launder everything, and hope for the best–that those bug killing chemicals got them all and that you aren’t being exposed to anything dangerous to you and your family.


You could use high temperatures to kill bed bugs everywhere they lurk, at every stage of development, in one treatment with no chemical residue and no need to move out of your house or launder all of your linens, let alone bag your food or throw it away. Alliance’s Team Heat has years of experience eradicating bed bugs, egg, nymph and adult all over California. Let us help!

Or you could scatter bean leaves on the floor every night. 🙂