History of Bed Bugs-Abridged

History of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs might be a major concern when you travel, but what about when they invade your home? You’ve probably heard how these insects can hitch a ride on luggage or purses or move between rooms in multi-unit buildings. It might be easier than you think for them to get into your Jacksonville, Hot Springs, or Bryant home.

A bed bug infestation is the last thing you want, but if it happens to your home, Clark Exterminating can help. While bed bugs might seem like a more recent problem, they actually have been around for thousands of years.

Ancient Existence for Medicine
While they might be no more than pests now, in ancient times they were actually used as a potion to try to cure common ailments. Egyptians would drink them to cure snakebites. It was also believed that they could help ear infections and even hysteria. People held on to these beliefs until at least the 18th century.

Bugs of the Wealthy
Bed bugs were actually more common in wealthy homes in the Middle Ages. The insects were attracted to the heat generated from cooking and sleeping fires. The bugs enjoyed the more comfortable lifestyle in the castles than the cold huts of the working class.

As time passed, the poor became just as infested with bed bugs because they often lived in overcrowded areas with low cleanliness. Wealthier households had domestic help who discovered that vigorous cleaning helped eliminate the pests.

Coming to America
The early colonists brought bed bugs with them to the Americas in the 1700s. By the 1800s, these insects were in abundance. In an effort to combat the problem, early Americans made their beds out of sassafras wood and drenched the crevices with boiling water, sulfur and arsenic. Indian villages did not seem to have a bed bug problem. Sailing ships were overrun with many types of bugs, so they didn’t permit colonists and passengers from bringing any bedding on board the ship.

Public Enemy #1
In the 1900s, the majority of Americans had seen a bed bug and, in many cases, even been bitten by one. In lower-income areas, nearly all residences were infested at some point. When central heating in buildings became common, it gave these insects a reproductive boost. They were considered to be public enemy #1.

Then, they disappeared by the 1950s, thanks to new pest control products along with the widespread use of vacuums and washing machines. Clark Exterminating caught on to the trend and we’ve been helping with bed bug removal for over 35 years!

Making a Comeback
However, there has been a resurgence since the 1990s. This comeback is likely due to an increase in international travel, more targeted pest control products, and a lack of public awareness.

Bed bugs first appeared in gateway cities like Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. These insects became more common in motels and hotels, not limited to inexpensive establishments. Now, bed bugs are making national news as media outlets uncovering their infestations in prominent hotels and businesses.

With bed bugs making a comeback, what does this mean for your home? First, look for any evidence of the actual bugs, remnants of their skin after shedding, or their droppings in mattress seams and other items in the bedroom. Next, clean and get rid of clutter, wash bedding, and vacuum daily. And, of course, don’t forget Clark Exterminating can help. We specialize in bed bug control. Call 501-588-2514 in the Little Rock area or 501-776-1388 for the Benton area.

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