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Mosquitos and insects plagued the dinosaurs. These pests have been found as fossils and preserved in ancient amber. The Bible details pestilence unleashed against Egypt. Other ancient texts also chronicle plagues as well as troublesome and even deadly hordes of insects. So, aside from swatting flies and mosquitos, or squashing bugs with a sandal sole, how did people cope before the advent of a professional response? What did people do before Baron Services?

Early man applied wisdom and knowledge in an attempt to control critters at home as well as pests that threatened food crops. Success, however, proved minimal at best. The earliest accounts of attempts to control pests were penned by the ancient Sumerians. Discovered in Iraq were cuneiform tablets that date to 2500 B.C. talk of using various sulfur based compounds to kill insects. Egyptian and Chinese records from this period talk of the use herbs and oils to control or deter insects.

The Greeks wrote extensively on various methods for controlling insects. Fire and smoke were used to “herd” locusts and push toward the sea. The Greek mathematician Pythagorus engineered a means to drain a swamp on Sicily in an effort to control mosquitos that plagued a village. During the Dark Ages pest control efforts in Europe stood in stark contrast to those of the Romans, Greeks, and ancient Egyptians.

Ignorance and superstition led people to view pests and fleas as a punishment from God. There were instances of flea invasions being given as evidence that someone was demon possessed. With the dawning of the Renaissance people rediscovered the wisdom of the ancient Greeks and began applying science to the problem.

As early as 1200 B.C. the Chinese began extensively testing an array of pest control means. With moderate success they used deployed predatory ants against pests such as beetles and caterpillars that had decimated fruit crops. This included a system of tying adjacent branches with silk threads to help the ants move freely across citrus trees.

In 300 B.C. the Chinese began creating extensive journals that enable the use of seasons and climate patterns to facilitate a schedule for the planting of select crops at time not optimal for pest attacks. They also developed compounds with plant and mineral extracts such as lemon oil, sulfur, arsenic, and wormwood to repel or kill insects on crops as well as in the home.

The awakening of the European Renaissance modernized pest control as people started to making scientific observations on pests and developed organized measures to eradicate them. A popular item distributed through apothecaries was a compound of herbs, arsenic and nicotine. Then came the development and application of mechanical equipment used for application. Insect traps such as those developed by Franz Bruckmann in the early 18th century enhanced the available arsenal for pest control. In the 1840s a popular craze among the rich and famous was a flea trap, a telling glimpse of home life during this period.

The modern pest control company can be dated to the late 19th century and the introduction of scientifically developed of various synthetic insecticides, such as DDT and herbicides. During WWI various chemical nerve gases were developed as a weapon of war. In the years that followed many of these compounds were modified for use as pesticides. In recent years it was discovered that there can be an array of harmful side effects from the use of these compounds or their improper application. And that is another reason to call the professionals at Baron Services for all of your Colorado River Valley pest control needs.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America