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History of Pest Control

There is no arguing that as long as the earth has spun round, there have been pests. Science has even proven that roaches were around long before we humans were… and they are likely to be around long after. Because pests are so resilient, the need for pest control dates back to at least as early as recorded history. Here is a brief history of pest control:

Ancient Pest Control

The first recorded instance of pest control was in 2400 B.C., when the Sumerians fended their crops from insect pests by using sulphur. Before that, farmers did not try to control pests; rather, they planted enough to allow for pest infestations and hoped for the best.

The Chinese Contribution

After the Sumerians, around the year of 1200 B.C., we know that the Chinese began using oils and herbs as pest prevention measures.  The invention of Chinese writing made the spread of ideas possible, and much of what the Chinese learned about pest control and cultivation revolutionized the art of pest control on a broad scale.

Protection From Pests

Not all historic pest control methods involved poisonous substances.  Around 440 B.C., the Egyptians were using nets around their beds to keep the mosquitos out. About 400 years later, the Romans built the
first-ever rat-proof grain storage house.

Predatory Insects

There are records dating back as early as 300 B.C. that show the use of predatory insects to counter pests, but historical evidence supports the belief that the method of using one insect to control another
dates much further back. In 1000 A.D., Arabian date growers moved mountain ants to their location to attack the phytophagous ants that preyed on their palm plants.


Europe was virtually untouched by the spread of pest control information during its Dark Ages era.  However, the European Renaissance brought about a new culture, based on knowledge, and in 1758, a botanist by the name of Carolus Linnaeus began the pest control revolution when he catalogued many of the pests that were before superstitiously believed to be bad omens or workers for the devil. This spawned the widespread practice of pest control, and there has been no looking back.

Modern Era Pest Control

The first-ever pesticide-spraying airplane rode over crops in 1921.  In 1962, those now-famous UV light fly-zappers hit the market.  Today, pest control is a standard constituent of renting or owning a home or business location. As a matter of fact, pest control is such an accepted part of daily living that its terms are often outlined in rental and property management contracts.

If you need help with your pest control, contact competent professionals like us, Stevie Redback Pest & Termite Control.   We can be reached by phone, at 1300 665 665, or email: admin@stevieredbackcom
Moving to Queensland from Interstate?  Be careful what you import!

Moving to Queensland from Interstate? Be careful what you import!

Image Credit By Lmbuga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

A story from one of our customers……..

Years ago I moved our family from Newcastle to Brisbane.  It was just after the Newcastle Earthquake which occurred on the 28th of December 1989.

At the time of the earthquake we were living at Tanilba Bay which was a good 30 – 45 minute drive to town.  My husband was suffering from Chronic Asthma at that time so I had to move us into Newcastle to be close to the Newcastle Hospital.

We moved into one of those beautiful old Terrace Houses in the inner city of town, which was very close to the hospital.  One of the effects of the earthquake is that it caused a lot of cracks to appear in those old strong walls that had stood the test of time, and I realised months later, it was those cracks that unleashed a whole host of beasties – including German Cockroaches.

I’d never seen them before but thought normal insect spray would kill them.  In Newcastle, I saw a few of them, sprayed them to kill them and thought that was the end of the story.

A few months later I got a job in Queensland and so we packed up and moved.  Months after moving to Queensland I started to notice those same German cockroaches – at first it was only a few and so I just used insect spray to kill them.  (I was originally from Victoria so had never seen them before).

But it wasn’t long before I found out – I had imported them from New South Wales and suddenly our new townhouse in Brisbane was infested with them.

It was so bad – they were everywhere.  I’m talking thousands of them.  It seemed to go from just a few annoying little critters to a full blown nightmare just like that.

Do you know that they were even crawling through my underwear drawer?  I’m not talking a few, I’m taking about a 100 of them at least, and every other clothes drawer and all through my kitchen cupboards!

Of course I instantly called a Pest Controller and he explained why the infestation had broken out.

German Cockroaches lay eggs in the form of these little hard sacks.  I had seen them around the place and didn’t know what they were.  I mean Queensland has it’s fair share of bugs so it could have been anything in my mind.  Anyway it turns out that in each little sack holds a multitude of babies waiting to be hatched.  So even if you kill one German cockroach, if it has laid a sack somewhere – that’s where the infestation will happen.

I booked the Pest Controller to come on a Friday and I took us down to the Gold Coast for the weekend so he could do the work and then let the townhouse ventilate.  When I got back there were thousands of these little dead critters everywhere – in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and all through our bedrooms and our clothes.

Then came the job of cleaning up the dead ones, washing all our clothes and plates, and over the next few months being manic about getting rid of those sacks if I found any.  The Pest Control job did end up eradicating them thank goodness.

I just want people to know – even if you see one German Cockroach, don’t underestimate the potential for an explosion of them.

Another side story to this is that at that same time I also owned a Laser Printer, which, back in those days were expensive.  It had stopped working for some reason and so I put it into a repair shop.  The technicians found that it was full of German Cockroaches as well.  It cost me about $400 to have it cleaned.  I was mortified.

Find out more about German Cockroaches on Wikepedia

If you need help with your pest control, contact competent professionals like us, Stevie Redback Pest & Termite Control.   We can be reached by phone, at 1300 665 665, or email: admin@stevieredbackcom