Humans have been hunting pests for thousands of years. According to the history of pest control, ancient Egyptians used domesticated animals for hunting pests. The first synthetic pesticides were invented in the early 1900s. The Europeans also developed effective methods to control pests, but the process was not without drawbacks. In this pest control article, we will explore some of the most critical moments in the history of pest control.
Ancient Egyptians used domesticated animals as pest hunters.
The Egyptians were aware that dogs and cats were great pest hunters in ancient Egypt. They used dogs to eat the meat of dead animals without dying. Cats were considered to be very sacred and were revered as deities. The Ancient Egyptians also used domesticated cats as pets and as a way to hunt for food. Among other benefits, these animals provided good protection for humans and their homes. Here are five ways ancient Egyptians used domesticated animals as pest hunters:
Even though Egypt was not known for its agricultural heritage, domesticated animals were brought from Southwest Asia. Some villages in the delta kept livestock. Some of them cultivated emmer, barley, cotton, and flax and used them as a source of meat. Pigs were used as scavengers, and Egyptians buried their dead domesticated animals near their villages to reduce the risk of bacterial infections.
Some Egyptians even tamed animals. The hippo and crocodiles were kept in temples as representatives of the god Sobek, considered the creator god. They were fed better than humans and were often mummified as well. Ancient Egyptians also revered crocodiles and hippopotami. They worshiped these creatures as gods and considered them sacred.
Some domesticated animals used as pest hunters were cats, dogs, and lions. These domestic animals were also used as pets and kept in Egypt. The Egyptians commonly kept Gazelles as pets but were considered so common that they had their names. The 21st Dynasty queen Isiemkheb, who lived under the Pharaoh Pinedjem II, had a gazelle as her pet. Her pet received a specially crafted sarcophagus for her. This sarcophagus was carved with an image of the gazelle, and a coffin was made to fit her body.
European exterminators founded the American pest control industry.
The American pest control industry was born from the efforts of European vermin exterminators, who immigrated to the United States in the time frame from 1840 to 1930. These European exterminators brought their knowledge of pests and their treatment methods with them. These experts established the first structural and urban pest control companies in the U.S. and are credited with giving the industry its name. The European exterminators were instrumental in establishing the industry, and their knowledge of the pests and their treatment methods remains essential today.
The industry is divided into many segments, including fumigation services, flies, and occasional pests. This includes fumigation services for homes currently on the market and pretreatment services for new constructions. It is estimated that over 20,000 companies are in business today in the United States. The services offered by these companies vary from treating pests to providing consumer services, including spraying insecticide on crops and applying repellents to the body.
Synthetic pesticides were developed in the early 1900s
As the industrial revolution developed, insecticide research continued at a low level, with newer, cheaper, and more toxic compounds created. Meanwhile, new products for niche markets were created. The Pacific Yeast Product Company developed an industrial method to produce Bt on a commercial scale, and Heliothis NPV was approved for use against malaria. The first viral insecticide, Elcar, was discovered in 1879. The same year, Bacillus var. israelensis was found to be toxic to beetles and flies.
The development of synthetic pesticides was a huge technological breakthrough, but it also came with high costs. Synthetic pesticides require the synthesis of 140,000 compounds, and that can prove incredibly expensive. That's why the use of synthetics in agriculture is gaining tremendous popularity. But synthetics can cause a multitude of problems for the environment and humans. It is not just a good idea to use synthetic pesticides in your garden - they're also extremely dangerous if misused.
Before the 1940s, the primary sources of insecticides were chemicals derived from plants. The synthetic compound DDT was instrumental in saving the lives of Allied soldiers from insect-transmitted diseases. World War II also led to a massive increase in the production of synthetic pesticides. The era also saw the advent of warfarin, which replaced Paris Green. Synthetic organic compounds were also introduced during the 1940s.
As early as the 1750s, humans have been using pesticides for various purposes. Ancient Sumerians used sulfur compounds to kill lice, while Chinese people used mercury and arsenic to control body lice. In addition to synthetic pesticides, many cultures use salt to control weeds and render soil useless. These methods also resulted in developing new types of insecticides, such as sulfur dioxide and methyl paraquat.
Phylloxera traveled from France to the United States.
Phylloxera, the oidium-resistant vine, traveled from France to the United States in 1855 and was discovered in California. It was a devastating pest that had already made wine grapes less desirable. As a result, French wine houses began working hard to eliminate the less valuable vines. In the history of pest control, phylloxera became an invaluable tool for the wine industry. While the vine-killing fungus caused significant damage, it was not a complete disaster.
Phylloxera made its way from France to the United States by traveling through a tunnel. French growers first tried flooding and burning to eradicate the disease. Later, they tried every chemical compound known to man to prevent it. Eventually, J. E. Planchon identified the pest as phylloxera, which caused widespread damage to grapes and wineries across Europe. Charles V. Riley identified the culprit as phylloxera and recommended grafting European vines onto native American roots a few years later. But the California wine industry was not interested in transplanting vines from eastern Europe. It had long relied on European grapes, including Bordeaux and Pinot Noir.
Despite its rapid spread, phylloxera has proven to be an incredibly adaptable species that depends not on one stage of its life cycle to survive. The insect can survive in most climates and is extremely hardy. In addition to being a devastating pest, it also makes winemaking impossible. If you haven't shopped for wine yet, you can always subscribe to the Wine Enthusiast. There are even exclusive deals for subscribers.
Second-generation pesticides were safer.
In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared second-generation rodenticides unsafe and mandated manufacturers three years to halt selling them to residential consumers. This left a massive loophole for large-scale sales and exempted tamper-proof bait boxes used by exterminators. These products still kill rodents but are not as dangerous to pets, scavengers, and predators as first-generation pesticides and were more available to pest control port orange and other pest control companies that services properties globally.
However, the long-term effects of second-generation pesticides are not apparent. While some studies have associated these chemicals with behavioral and emotional problems in humans, others have linked exposure to these pesticides to neurological disease. While these pesticides may not be as harmful as their first-generation cousins, they are still connected to severe health risks. There is no consensus on whether or not second-generation pesticides are safer.
Another class of second-generation pesticides shares a similar chemical structure as the first-generation pesticides: OCs. These chemicals were extensively used throughout the 1940s and early 1960s. These second-generation pesticides are now considered safe for human use but are still very toxic to mammals. The current crop protection laws require a reduction in the use of these chemicals to protect the environment and public health.
In addition to the risks of the chemicals, these newer chemicals also pose significant trade-related issues. For example, only a few countries have implemented MRLs for minor crops. This means that small-scale farmers and developing countries are forced to use the older pesticides if they cannot obtain the necessary safety standards for their produce. Furthermore, second-generation pesticides are discouraged in some countries due to low-residue levels.