Hello “dog-blog” fans; Hunter here, welcoming you back to my weekly blog “What’s Buggin’ You?”SM. As you all know, I graduated from Termite Detection Academy with a major in Termite Detection (I sniff ’em out), and a minor in Pest Control Management. I studied Pest Control history as part of my curriculum. I find the subject to be very interesting and thought you readers might also. This blog will give you an understanding of when and how the phenomenon of pest control evolved; from its beginnings to today.

If we assume that the very first fly swat was the first instance of pest control – and we know that large animals swat flies – it could be argued that pest control dates back way before humans came on the scene. The first recorded instance of pest control goes back to 2500BC when the Sumerians used sulfur to control insects. Then around 1200BC the Chinese, in their great age of discovery towards the end of the Shang Dynasty, were using chemicals to control insects. In this period pest control know-how was helped by the advanced state of the Chinese writing ability. Although progress in pest control methods undoubtedly continued, the next significant evidence does not come until around 750BC when Homer described the Greek use of wood ash spread on land as a form of pest control.

Around 500BC the Chinese were using mercury and arsenic compounds as a means to control body lice, a common problem throughout history. In 440BC the Ancient Egyptian’s used fishing nets to cover their beds or their homes at night as a protection from mosquitoes. From 300BC, the Romans developed pest control methods and these ideas were spread throughout the empire. In 13BC the first recorded rat-proof grain store was built by the Romans. History shows pests were often seen as workers of evil – especially those that ruined food, crops or livestock. There were undoubtedly studies of pests during the dark ages; however, there is no recorded evidence of this.

It is not until the European Renaissance when more evidence of pest control emerges.

In 1758 the great Swedish botanist and taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus cataloged and named many pests. His writings were (and remain) the root and source of future study in pests; as well as plants and animals in general. The advancement of large-scale farming brought large-scale pest scares such as the potato famine in Ireland in 1840. Pest control management was scaled up to meet these demands, to the point that dedicated pest controllers began to emerge throughout the 20th century.

Today the need for pest control ranges from householders to large-scale agri-conglomerates. In between are restaurants, bars, and food production facilities. Pest control can make us more comfortable, as well as, it can protect us against the spread of disease.

To protect you and your family against unwanted household pests and possible disease; call Loyal Termite and Pest Control. As always, if you have any questions you can contact us by telephone, our website or social media.

I hope you learned something today. Thank you for joining me and my blog. Until next time this is Hunter your Loyal K-9 Termite Detective asking, “What’s Buggin’ You?”SM I’ll be barking at you next week.

Pest Control – A Historical Perspective in Virginia

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