A Short History of Pest Control

Pests, as we call them, have always been around. But how did we manage these beasties and bugs in eras before and how has it changed to date?

We took a little exploration into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ about the need for pest control and the pest control service industry that has sprung up over the years.

In the beginning, all men were either gatherers or farmers for their plant foods. They did not care to ‘manage’ the animals or pests that also ate the same plant foods, but rather lived alongside them.

The Origins of Pest Control

Pest control or management started already in the BC’s – the earliest record is of the Sumerians circa, 2,500 BC using sulphur compounds as insect pest control for crops as well as to kill itch and chigger mites.

The Chinese and Egyptians followed but were initially using oils & herbs which they found dispelled the pests. The Chinese later discovered that they could use certain insects to control pest infestations, for example ants helped defend citrus from unwanted pests.

About 1,100 years later, the discovery of soap emerges as a formidable pesticide which the Chinese initially start using.

The Pied Piper & Development of Pest Control Services

The Middle Ages saw a concerted effort towards more aggressive pest control with the advent of rat issues particularly in Europe. Plant extracts and natural chemicals were used to kill rats, but I’m sure you’ve also heard the story of the Pied Piper?

This character from Robert Browning’s story from the mid 1800’s was based on what was known as ‘rat catchers’ at the time. These interesting characters would often be seen travelling to town markets and county fairs to sell their services whilst using magic, juggling and the likes to attract potential clients’ attention.

Eventually, in the late 1600’s, the first pest control company was established in London and became known as the “Bug Destroyers to Her Majesty and the Royal Family”. They treated rat & bed bug problems with chemical compounds and other methods that they developed.

Over more recent years, pest control chemicals has developed from hyper effective, long-term repellants, which research has shown to have a negative  effect on the environment, to more environmentally conscious alternatives whilst still treating the pest condition effectively.

All our products are cleared for use by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). So, whatever your pest issue, we’d love to be your first call to provide you with the best protection!

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