Brief history of bed bugs

Bedbugs are suspected to have originally come from the Middle East in the caves where humans and bats used to live during the era of early civilization. Their history in the region is dated back thousands of years ago. The history of these bloodsuckers can be marked out using their Roman name, Cimex lecturlarius, whereby Cimex which means ‘bug’ while lecturlarius is a name referring or a couch or a bed. According to research, bedbugs lived off bats as hosts before starting to parasitize bats.

3,500 years ago, bedbugs were used by burned and used by the Romans and Greeks to cure leeches while the Egyptians drank them to cure snakebites. 

bed bugs infestation
Bed Bug Infestation
Bed Bug Close Up
Adult Bed Bug

In the early years of 20th century, nearly all Americans became victims of bedbug bites and most of them had seen at least one bedbug. At that time, bedbugs were considered among the three most prevalent and serious pest problems in the U.S. In the 1950s, DDT was introduced and this resulted in massive extermination of cockroaches and bedbugs. 

However, the use of the product was later banned in 1972 and instead the use of vacuum cleaners and simplified furniture design were advocated to control bedbug problem. Bedbugs infestation rates in developed countries had declined from the 1930s to 1980s. Nevertheless, the numbers have been on the rise in the recent years, particularly from the 1980s.

Reasons Why They Are Making A Comeback

Although the rates of bedbug infestation had reduced significantly between the early and mid 20th century, the pest problem has been on the rise in the recent years. Bedbugs have become a major concern in hospitals, homes, hotels, motels as well as public transport. 

It is suggested that the resurgence of the pest issue has been as a result of various factors including increased international travel, prohibition of powerful insecticides such as DDT, changes in pest control practices, inadequate or lack of awareness and knowledge concerning bedbug control as well as pest resistance.

Increase in international travel

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been characterized by massive travels of people to all continents and countries for adventure as well as business. When a person is traveling from a country with serious bedbug infestations, there’s a likelihood that he or she will carry the bugs along in his or her clothes and/or luggage to the destination country. This is how bedbugs find their way from one country to another.

airplane flying above in the sky

Lack of awareness

where do nyc bed bugs hide

The lack of awareness about bedbugs and their control has played a significant role in the persistence of bedbug problem. Many people have no idea on how they can avoid bedbugs while traveling from one place to another or when in their homes. 

People need to be sensitized on how to inspect their rooms of accommodation for bed bugs during their travels as well as checking the bugs in their residences. It is also important for them to know how to deal with a bedbug problem when they are affected.  

Increasing of buying used merchandise

The sale and buying of second-hand items such as cars, furniture and clothes, among others have nowadays become very popular worldwide. Unfortunately, some of these items come with bedbugs and have become great agents of the spread of the bugs.