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Pest Control Throughout History

Photo credit: Sarasota Magazine 

Pests have been a burden on humanity since antiquity. Their impact on our lives has intensified as centuries went by. Yet, humanity has never stopped searching for ways to control and effectively reduce the damages and diseases pests brought along.


 

Pest Control Timeline:

2000 BC

Early pre-Romans used sulfur as pesticide to kill mites and other harmful insects. This is believed to be the first recorded use of pesticides in history.

1200 BC

Individuals in China started using plant driven insecticides to combat harmful fungus that affected vital crops.

300 AD

Chinese used predatory ants that prey on destructive insects, the first recorded use of biological pest control.

900 AD

The first recorded use of smoke as insect deterrent. Meanwhile, Chinese began using arsenic to control garden insects.

1649

Rotenone, a crystalline ketonic chemical compound, was used by the indigenous people of South America to paralyze and catch. The compound was later adopted as pesticides throughout the world as it’s very effective against insects as well.

1850

A vineyard producer accidentally discovered that the mixture of lime and copper deterred insects from the grapes in his farm. The man initially used the mixture to discourage people from stealing his grapes, an idea which actually worked. Since then, the mixture has been used for plant disease control in France.

1874

DDT, a colorless odorless insecticide, was first synthesized by an Austrian chemist. It was later used by the U.S. military but become available to civilian in 1945.

1883

Pressurized insect sprayer (widely known as bug spray) was invented by John Bean. The invention has proven very efficient in controlling pests in both, homes and crop fields.

1886

The first recorded use of Hydrogen cyanide as a fumigant use in California citrus.

1900

Steam engine and horse-driven pesticides spray equipment were developed.

1921

The first recorded use of airplane for aerial pest application.

1934

The first practical bug zapper was designed and patented by William F. Folmer and Harrison L. Chapin

1948

Scientists begin discussing thoroughly about the importance of beneficial insects.

1950s–1960s

Massive industrial research, development as well as commercialization of several types and classes of pesticides.

1973

Development of first photo-stable synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, permethrin.

1978

EPA releases first list of restricted-use pesticides.

1980s

Integrated pest management (IPM)  techniques, adopted by several countries around the world, has become a successful approach in dealing with pests .

 

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