We can assume that pests have been a nuisance for humans since before recorded time. There is no doubt that early humans were swatting flies away and keeping critters off of their food. From rats to mosquitoes and crop-eating insects, there is no shortage of pests to cause trouble. And with bothersome pests comes the need for pest control. Pests cause many problems, including public health concerns and agricultural concerns. Essentially, pest control is a vital part of any community. Even the most primitive civilizations needed some pest control to survive.
Origins Of Pest Control
The earliest recorded mention of pest control is the Sumerians using sulfur compounds to kill insects and treat bites. Each civilization had its way of controlling pests. Greek and Asian civilizations recorded the use of chemical substances, fire, and predatory animals to kill and repel insects. Cats were used to keep mice away from farms by Egyptians. The Romans had strict sanitation codes from living quarters to water supplies.
During the middle ages, pest control was hindered and wholly reversed because some believed pests were a punishment from God. However, in the 1500s, during the Black Plague, regulations to control and sanitize public spaces were put in place to reduce filth and waste.
Fortunately, as time progressed, scientists discovered natural substances such as herbs that were effective in repelling pests. The first pest control company, Tiffin & Son, was created in the 1650s in London. And in the 1800s, synthetic pesticides and dogs were used for insect and rat control. It should be noted that the first human-made pesticides were rather dangerous. In the 1970s, the FDA became more involved with regulating pesticides and licensing pest control companies.
Pest Control Today
Pest control has evolved ten-fold since Tiffin & Son was established. Now, there are safer chemical as well as green methods used to protect the environment and people. Modern pest control methods include:
- Poisoned bait: Used on insects and rodents, this method is useful but dangerous. When using poisoned bait, there is always a risk of pets and people coming into contact with the poison.
- Biological pest control: This is the most natural method. It kills dangerous pests without affecting the environment. Biological pest control happens through putting pest-killing bacteria in water supplies. The water is safe for human consumption.
- Mechanical pest control: This is a hands-on approach that directly kills pests or makes the environment unsuitable. Examples of mechanical pest control include traps and flooding.
- Field Burning: This is a more traditional method where, after harvesting, the field is burned to kill harmful species and ensure new eggs don’t hatch.
- Trap Cropping: This is a strategic method that uses plants that attract pests to keep them away from crops. Once the problem pests are distracted by the trap crop, it is easier to use pesticides on them.
- Pesticides: This is the most well-known form of pest control. Some pesticides are available in sprays and to the average person; however, there are other pesticides only available to certified professionals. Pesticides can be harmful to people and the environment if not used by a trained professional.
When used correctly, all of these methods can be safe and effective. The best thing you can do when dealing with a pest is contact professionals.
Professional Pest Control
If you live in the Wichita, Kansas area and have a pest problem, contact the Alta Pest Control professionals. Our reliable team has the answers to all your pest-related questions and uses a variety of modern techniques to keep you and your family safe from pests.