Spiders, ants, cockroaches and even bed bugs are not pests we want to be sharing our homes. Fortunately for those of us who live in Bullhead City or the Colorado River Valley pest control is as easy as just one call to the professionals at Baron Services.

The battle with household pests is older than houses themselves. People have also been dealing with plagues and pestilence with varying degrees of success for thoousands of years.

In the modern era the term “pesticide” is synonymous with the term “chemical pesticide.” But for centuries pests were controlled with varying degrees of success using pesticides not derived from synthetic chemicals.

As an example, several thousand years ago Homer described how Odysseus used burning sulfur as a fumigant to control pests. In about 70 A.D. Pliny the Elder wrote about the use of arsenic to kill household pests and control insects infesting crops. And arsenic was also recommended as a pesticide in early as sixteenth-century China.

Arsenic has been used to control insects for centuries. Until the first decades of the 20th century and the advent of chemical pesticides, aresenic was the insecticide of choice to protect orchards and control pests.

The use of lead arsenate and calcium arsenate was supported by the U.S. government with vigor. As an example, by 1930 nearly 30 million pounds of the compounds were used by American farmers. In the mid 1930s the government sponsored weekly agricultural programs with promotion of arsenic pesticides. “A is for is for Arsenate/Lead if you please/Protector of Apples/Against Archenemies.”

As arsenic possesses no color, flavor, or odor it is nearly indistinguishable when present in food or drinks. As a result the use of arsenic as a pesticide was fraught with risk. And that is why for centuries assassins chose to use arsenic to eliminate pests, real and perceived, that were on the throne. In ancient Rome the Emperor Nero allegedly poisoned his brother Tiberius Britannicus with arsenic. And during the first century in Rome, assassination with arsenic became a plague in itself.

But, surprisingly, doctors used arsenic to treat internal pests as well. Hippocrates experimented with, and wrote extensively about, the use of arsenic to treat various ailments including ulcers, bowel issues, and abscesses. Nearly 1,000 years ago Chincese doctors wrote about the use of arsenic as a poison to treat poisons that were causing illness.

Thomas Fowler, a doctor in England studied the use of arsenic in ancient Rome and Greece, performed an array of experiments and in 1786 published a study of his arsenic solution. He named it “Liquor Mineralis,” and claimed it could treat malaria, fevers, stomach ailments and headaches. It would be added to the London Pharmacopeia as “Fowler’s solution.” For nearly a century physicians were using this solution to treat cancers, heartburn, asthma, hypertension, and tuberculosis. They also prescribed a variety of variations for the use of controlling bedbugs, cockroaches and other household pests.

The pest control professionals at Baron Services may not prescribe pesticides to treat ailments, but you can rest assured that they will resolve any household pest infestation you may have be it scorpions, spiders, or ants.

Written by Jim Hinckley’s America