Tag Archives: Bed Bug History

Bed Bug Bites Plagued Early Humans Too

We May have Evolved From the People Thousands of Years Ago, But We Still Face Many of the Same Problems.
We May have Evolved From the People Thousands of Years Ago, But We Still Face Many of the Same Problems.

In today’s fast-track world of people moving around using multiple forms of transportation, traveling to destinations around the world, or moving to a new home, bed bugs have become part and parcel of our lives.

While we may think these blood sucking vampire insects are new to the environment scene, current research has uncovered evidence in Oregon that the genus Cimex, goes as far back as 11,000 years.

Researchers doing archaeological digs at the eight Paisley Five Mile Point Caves recovered 14 specimens of cimicids, which are close relatives to bed bugs.

During the time period these insects were alive, cave dwellers also inhabited the caves seasonally. While bats living in the caves were the main source of food for the bugs, researchers conclude there is a high probability the bugs also fed on the humans.

In today’s world, humans are faced with three species of bed bugs. These include the Cimex lectularius, which is the most common, the Cimex hemipterus, which is a worldwide traveler but prefers the tropics, and the Leptoimex boueti, which resides in Africa.

Regardless of which species is making its presence known, each is problematic for humans.

If you’re experiencing a bed bug invasion, local NYC and NJ bed bug exterminators can handle it. With professional services and techniques, NYC and NJ bed bug exterminators can pinpoint the problem and take immediate action to clear your home of unwanted guests.

Bed Bugs Over the Centuries

Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs

Throughout recorded history, bed bugs have plagued mankind. The worst epidemics have come in the last hundred years, though, with these biting pests only now hitting their peak.

Some perspective on the history of bed bugs:

1500 BC: The oldest known fossils of bed bugs existed at this time.

386 BC: Ancient Greek plays by Aristophanes first mention bed bugs in writing.

77 AD: Roman philosopher Pliny writes about using bed bugs for medicinal purposes, similar to leeching.

600 AD: Bed bugs spread to China. However, they are not yet common throughout all of Europe.

1600: England gets bed bugs. Pilgrims immediately bring them to the Americas.

1900: Virtually every US home sees bed bugs at some point, and about one third of households endure an infestation.

1950: The phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite” gets added to the expression, “good night, sleep tight.”

1950s: People discover that the powerful insecticide DDT works wonders for killing bed bugs. Unfortunately, it turned out DDT is too dangerous to be an effective solution.

1995: Bed bugs begin making a resurgence, with hotel infestations becoming common.

2010: Epidemics hit New York City and other metropolitan areas, kicking off a new era of widespread infestations.

Don’t become another statistic in the history of bed bugs! Talk to Stern Environmental about safe, advanced bed bug extermination methods.

How Did People Treat Bed Bugs In The 1940’s

The common bed bug has been an extermination problem since ancient times. In the 1940’s, many of the methods being used for bed bug control were only temporary deterrents, while more effective measures were as dangerous to humans as bugs.

  • Spring cleaning – With colder months limiting bed bug production, spring was the time to scrub bed frames, furniture and walls with boiling water. Bed sheets were washed regularly in boiling water.
  • Bug proofing – Wooden bed frames where bed bugs could hide were replaced with metal frames. Porous flooring and wallpapers were removed, and even doors and window frames were changed to metal.
  • Insecticides – Some fumigation techniques used blends of hydrogen cyanide or arsenic and mercury, and exterminators needed to wear gas masks. During World War II, the U.S. began using a chemical spray called dichloro-diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) to protect soldiers from lice, flies and mosquitoes that carried disease. It was found to be very effective in killing bed bugs directly, with the added advantage of causing residual damage anywhere the dry agent was carried. As is the case with most insecticides, however, over time bed bugs developed a resistance to the product.

Extreme temperatures are the best bed bug control agent, but unless you can maintain an area at -110 F or +110 F over a period of time, it’s best to call Stern Environmental Group for professional assistance.