Evolution of Pest Control Methods
So how long have pests really been a problem? Since humans began keeping records of any sort!
There are records of crops being wiped out by locusts.
Then there was the black plague, showing that these pests can and have been responsible for famine as well as deaths from horrid diseases.
It is often hard to get a real picture of what life must have been like when it was so long ago and we rarely are faced with such conditions now.
But the relative safety that we enjoy today comes as a result of our forebears and their desire to find a better and safer way to live in our world.
Pest Control Treatment of the Past
During the 18th century in Europe, the cure for head and body lice was mercury! Imagine that being used today!
Those affected would ingest it and/or rub it on their skin. The lice did die but in time the patient went ‘crazy’ and died too!
During the 17th, 18th and 19th-century, bed bugs were a constant problem. It was a common practice to wipe the beds down with kerosene to kill the little suckers.
But that was probably not a good thing for the humans who then would snuggle down in those beds for a restful nights sleep! The odor alone would be a nightmare!
One of the most famous early exterminators was "Tiffin and Son of London" established in 1690. They were the bed bugs exterminators for royalty. They had a gas lit sign over the shop that read:
May The Destroyers Of Peace Be Destroyed By Us.
TIFFIN & SON
Bug-Destroyers to her Majesty.
During these times bed bugs were often discussed as a part of maintaining a proper clean and healthy home.
Unfortunately as populations grew, bed bugs became an especially large problem of the poor in crowded areas throughout Europe, England and America.
Most of the chemicals used to treat bed bugs were found to be dangerous to humans as well, even causing death.
Mercury Chloride, Borax, Carbolic Acid, Sulfur Candles, and Ammonia were some of the chemicals used commonly in spring cleaning (as a pest control treatment) in the attempt to exterminate bed bugs.
Fumigation with burning sulfur was called the ‘fire and brimstone’ method.
Then there was DDT, originally made in 1874 by a German chemistry student and discovered to be an effective insecticide in 1939.
DDT became the military's go-to for the treatment of just about any infestation. There was a terrible problem during both WWI and WWII with lice and bed bugs in the barracks. As a result anywhere that the soldiers went, so went the bed bugs to share with all!
It is amazing that the treatments so freely used did not kill more humans!
Green-Friendly Pest Control Treatment
There is so much recorded history about the use of chemicals in the treatment of insect infestations that the problems must have been of epic proportions for so many to risk their health to rid themselves of these pests!
Luckily there are green-friendly treatments available now that are proven effective in treating infestations without harming your family and pets. It is an ongoing educational process to stay informed on any and all new developments in the professional pest control world.
Croach® takes pride in offering the latest and safest treatments for pest infestations of any type.
Related: Early History of Pest Extermination
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