History of Pest Treatments
Pests have been a nuisance since the beginning of time. They’ve caused countless headaches in gardens, farms, and houses alike. So how did people deal with pests before? The answer is that they dealt with them as best they could; however, there was no such thing as pest control then because it didn’t exist yet. In general, pests were eradicated by handpicking them from their homes, burning areas infested with them, spraying pesticides over the affected regions.
The first thing you need to know is that pest control has been around for more than 2000 years. There has been a huge evolution within the industry, but it all started with good old-fashioned traps and poisons. Humans have come a long way since then, and today many pest control companies can provide excellent services to their clients. Now, it is time to learn about the history of pest control and how it began!
Cat, Ferret & Mongoose Rodent Control?
The history of rodent control has been a long and excruciating one. Rodents such as the cat, the ferret, and the mongoose have been used for this specific purpose.
The use of these animals to control rodents in our homes is not new. In the 16th century, when botanic gardens were introduced, people would release ferrets with cats and mongooses into their gardens to keep out all rodents that may come in looking for food or shelter.
Mongoose was one of the favorite farmers and gardeners who found that these animals would help them drive out of any rodents that came into their territory. This animal is particularly good as it kills not only small rodents such as mice but also larger ones, such as hamsters and squirrels.
The mongoose, however has been replaced by the ferret for this specific purpose.
In the Middle Ages, ferrets were farmed as a means of removing rodents from granaries. They would take the ferrets down into the corn storage and place them in an area where rats or mice were known to be. The ferrets would then hunt out all of the rodents there and kill them before they came up into their owners’ living space.
Within a few years, these ferrets were replaced by the polecat. This animal’s purpose was much like that of today’s ferret. However, it had a thicker build and could kill all rodents much larger than the ones in our own homes.
These animals would hunt out in packs to catch their prey in one go rather than hunt each one.
The polecat was also much more effective in hunting out all rodents in cabins and homes. However, these animals would never be kept inside the house in case they bit a family member. Thus, they would venture outside to kill off their prey.
There are ways in which one can train domestic cats to eradicate rodents within homes with relative ease. It is relatively simple to do this. However, one must keep in mind the dangers of allowing your cat to roam about outside unattended. This is particularly true when we consider some diseases and parasites that your cat from other animals can contract.
Weaver Ant & Duck Insect Control
Around 300 A.D., biological pest control was a pillar to Chinese farmers who introduced weaver ants to their citrus orchards to combat the beetle and caterpillar populations that were essentially destroying their crops. This method proved to work well, and this practice spread to other cultures and was used for many years.
Chinese farmers then placed ducks into their paddy fields to keep insect populations to a minimum. This was a natural way to protect their crops while fighting back against the pests that could destroy all they worked so hard for.
In 1762, Indian farmers used Mynah for locust control. In Burma, they also utilized weaver ants to protect their citrus orchards. Bamboo was attached to citrus trees, so the ants could crawl from tree to tree and easily control the caterpillar population in that area. Many farmers still use cats and dogs in their barns to keep mice and rats out of their hay and animal feed in today’s world.
Uses of First Chemical Pesticides
Insecticides have been around for a long time. In ancient Egypt, agriculturalists used natural pesticides such as sulfur and copper. Later on in the 1880s, a scientist introduced a pesticide that is still used today, DDT. But what caused this shift from natural to chemical pesticides? It was World War II. This war introduced chemical processes to mass production and increased funding for scientific research in light of military needs.
As a result, scientists worked to find a pesticide that was more effective and less harmful to humans, which led them to create the first generation of chemical pesticides. These included dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), dibromo-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DTT), and ethylene dibromide (EDB).
DDT proved effective against mosquitoes that carried malaria by eliminating them before they could spread the disease.
Due to its success, DDT became even more widely used after the war, despite its discovery before 1945. During the 1930s-1950s, DDT was used to control insects that carried diseases like typhus and malaria, which had major effects on human health. However, it is now known that these chemical pesticides produce harmful side effects.
Another pesticide, DTT (dibromo-diphenyl-trichloroethane), also proved effective against insects that carried diseases. However, many cases of people getting ill from DDT were not associated with malaria eradication programs. Instead, the result was chloracne (a type of skin disease). The cases of poisoning provoked by DDT increased awareness among the public about the dangers of pesticides.
DDT and other first-generation pesticides were banned globally by 2001 through the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty signed in 2001 which aims to eliminate or restrict certain hazardous chemicals.
The first generation of chemical pesticides caused problems because they didn’t always discriminate between insects and humans and their high toxicity to humans. However, they were successful in controlling malaria and typhus spread by insects.
The second generation of chemical pesticides was introduced to overcome the problems of the first generation. They are more specific, target insects but are less harmful to humans.