Humans have suffered from pests from the beginning of time. The existence of flies before humans is supported by fossils. The first time a human killed a mosquito or whacked a bothersome fly was the beginning of pest control. Since the beginning of agriculture, people have become aware of the risks that pests pose to food crops and have begun to develop strategies to ward them off. The employment of chemical agents to kill or repel insects is mentioned in almost all ancient cultures. The Sumerians used sulfur compounds to kill insects as the earliest known form of pest management.
Fire was utilized by the Greek culture to drive locusts to the sea. In order to eradicate malaria, the Greek mathematician Pythagorus drained the marshes of a Silician town. The Chinese used predatory ants against pests including beetles and caterpillars circa 1200 B.C. To enable the ants to walk freely over citrus trees and eliminate the pests, they developed an inventive system of tying nearby branches together using ropes. By 300 B.C., the Chinese had also learned that there was a connection between the climate and cyclical biological occurrences and had begun planting their crops at specific times of the year to ward off insect invasions. Because of ignorance and superstition, many in medieval Europe really turned their backs on pest treatment because they believed that fleas and other bugs were retribution from God. Until the Renaissance, when people began to view insects as a feature of the natural world order that they could manage rather than as God’s agent to punish mankind for their sins, the majority of the strategies used were rooted in superstition.
In various Asian civilizations, pest control suffered during the Middle Ages. Chemicals like arsenic and sulfur as well as plant extracts like wormwood and lemon oil have all been used as insect repellents. Following the scientific awakening brought about by the European Renaissance, people began to study pests scientifically and devise systematic methods of catching them. Insect repelling properties of nicotine, certain plants, and arsenic were quickly found by scientists, and these compounds quickly rose to prominence as key pest control agents. Early renaissance pest management required a lot of manual labor. However, the process soon became simple after the invention of mechanized tools. Early in the 1700s, Franz Bruckmann created the first mechanical insect trap. Victorian England gave modern pest control a boost. The Victorian Flea Trap, which was created around 1840, was a common tool at the time.
The development of numerous synthetic insecticides, including DDT, and herbicides in the late 1800s led to a rise in the usage of pesticides to eradicate pests. Organophosphates were developed as nerve gases during World War II, but their insecticidal qualities also made them interesting for use as pest control agents. Other chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates became widely used as insecticides in the years following the war.
Today modern pest control companies like pest control in Melbourne FL use a combination of natural pest repellants, traps and sprays. The industry has come a long way.