Pests Past and Present: The Evolution of Pest Control

People have always been bugged by bugs and other creepy creatures. Our ancestors toiled as hunters, farmers, and other workers who had to be outdoors with pests all day. Even now, we can be dinner for mosquitoes or roommates with a mouse. Humans have always found it necessary to defend themselves against pests on three fronts: agricultural, home, and the environment at large. What did people do about pests back then, and where are we now?

agricultural pests

  • Agricultural PestsAs soon as people began farming, they discovered insects eating their crops. About 4500 years ago, the Sumerians used sulfur as an insecticide. In Roman times, farmers developed oil sprays, and in Asia they put arsenic in the rice paddies. Not all these methods were entirely healthy, so farmers would burn off the stubble or try planting crops earlier or later. In 1880, the first spraying machine was developed, and various new chemical sprays were tried. By the 1970’s, the effect of some sprays on the environment was recognized, and safer ones were implemented, along with developing pest-resistant crops.


  • Home PestsOur ancestors thought rats and mice were just as nasty as we do. The Egyptians domesticated cats to keep them under control, and in the Middle Ages, ferrets were popular rat catchers. At the same time in the Middle East, people kept mongooses to eat rats and snakes. Throughout Europe, dog breeds were developed to hunt rats and mice, including the Yorkshire terrier and Cairn terrier. People also set out poison, which worked well in conjunction with a good rat-catching pet. This was very important in times of plague because, although people didn’t understand how plague spread, they did know it increased in the presence of rats.


  • Pests in The Environment At LargeMosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects have been a deadly problem. For most of human history, the only resort was to drain swamps. In the 18th century, scientists began to research mosquito repellents and insecticides, and by the 19th century, there were many on the market. People also began covering still waters with oil and emptying containers of standing water. Massive swamp-draining projects were undertaken, including during the building of the Panama Canal. Today, draining continues, and there are mosquito-eliminating chemicals that are safer than those in the past.


Pest Control Services in Vaughan and Richmond Hill


JDM Pest Control also has a history. They’ve been providing pest control in Vaughan and pest control in Richmond Hill for over 20 years for commercial and residential properties. They do the job right at a great price. So if you need pest control in Vaughan, in Richmond Hill, or anywhere in the Greater Toronto area, give them a call at 416-729-3568 and get a free assessment.
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