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Bed Bug Control: The History of America’s Most Feared Pest

Signs of bed bugs found on a box spring

Bed bugs have become a major problem in American homes within the last decade. Many people are surprised to hear that these blood-sucking bedfellows have plagued America since its earliest days. Bed bugs were mostly kept at bay for most of the 1900’s, but today they infest hotels, apartment complexes, homes, and commercial structures around the country.

Ancient Origins

Bed bugs have been traced to ancient origins: Bed bug remains have been discovered in excavation sites in Egypt that date back nearly 4,000 years old.

While they seem to have been mostly documented as a pest through history, there are some very early references to using bed bugs for medicinal purposes. This may seem shocking, but bed bugs aren’t the only blood-sucking pest that was once believed to have medicinal uses. Egyptians were believed to have used leeches as a medical treatments as long as 3,500 years ago, and maggots are still used today to clean certain types of wounds.

Early bed bug extermination methods mostly consisted primarily of avoidance rather than removal. In 19th century Europe it was common to put a basket-like barrier around the bed, which would be shaken to empty out potential intruders daily. In other parts of the world, leaves from certain types plants would be scattered around the bed in hopes that the bugs would get trapped in tiny hairs found on the surface of the plant.

The Arrival of DDT

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, also know as DDT, is a chemical that was found to have power insecticidal use in 1939. It was used commonly throughout the ‘40s, and by the time the 1950s arrived DDT was the most commonly used pesticide in the country.

Scientists soon discovered that trace amounts of DDT were staying in the system of humans who had been exposed. Because DDT was being used to treat home pest problems, head lice, and many types of produce it was hard to identify the source of these chemical remnants. This lead to a decline in the usage of DDT, and in 1972 the EPA officially banned it for most uses.

Modern Control Advances

Today many pest control providers have stepped away from chemicals in favor of heat when it comes to treating homes for bed bugs. There are many advantages to heat treatments, and the lack of chemical usage alone leads many homeowners to select a company that removes bed bugs with heat treatments. Other benefits of heat treatments include:

  • Quick results – Your treatment will be completed and most signs of bed bugs will be gone within 24 hours.

  • You can enter your house immediately following treatment – Unlike some fumigation processes, there is no required wait time before reentering your home following a bed bug treatment.

  • Eliminates bed bugs in all forms – Eggs, nymphs and adult bugs will all be eliminated with a heat treatment.

  • One treatment is all you need – Unlike spray treatments, heat treatments are usually 100% effective. By selecting heat treatments for your home, you won’t have to worry about follow up visits and additional treatments.

Are Bed Bugs In Your Home? Have Them Removed Today

Your home is no place for bed bugs, and if you’ve spotted them in your home you should get in touch with a licensed pest control provider right away. Give a pest control provider a call to find out more about the bed bug control services that are available to homeowners in your area. Don’t spend another night next to these blood sucking pests, call a pest removal expert today.

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