Bedbugs have inhabited the planet for over 3,000 years. Experts believe that they first attacked bats and, when humans still inhabited the caves, they switched targets.
When humans become sedentary, the host-parasite relationship is more easily formed, initiating infestations in human settlements such as towns and cities.
In ancient times they were considered a pest and healing🇧🇷 For example, Pliny the Youngerancient Roman lawyer, writer, and scientist, claimed that a “bedbug cocktail” It was used to cure a snakebite. Even in the 20th century, they were still considered medicinal.
Bedbugs arrived in America thanks to European ships, where they adapted perfectly to the environment. And although they tried to create an effective bed bug poison, what gave the best results was the Dichloro-diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), an insecticide used to control crop pests and insects that carry diseases such as typhus and malaria.
After World War II, DDT gained popularity because of its low cost, potency, and apparent lack of risk. This bed bug poison looked perfect, had a delayed effect and lasted at least a year without bed bugs and everyone could buy it and apply it🇧🇷
However, not everything was roses. After several studies, it was concluded that DDT in high concentrations affected warm-blooded species. For example, in the mid-1960s, the concentration of DDE, a compound produced when DDT breaks down, was found to affect the reproduction of several species of birds.
And in addition to killing unwanted predators and parasites, it also killed insects and parasites that benefited humans.
Soon after, it was discovered that bed bugs had developed resistance to DDTthe immediate action was to increase the insecticide dose.
Subsequently, research began to link high concentrations of DDT in adipose tissue with breast cancer, in men it reduced testosterone levels, semen volume and reduced sperm count.
It was in the best seller Silent Spring published in 1962, by Rachel Carson where all the ecological dangers derived from the use of DDT were exposed, warning that all the birds in the world would disappear if this insecticide continued to be used.
DDT was removed from the list of active substances authorized for use in plant protection products in 1969.
In 1972, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned DDT.
The production, use and marketing of all plant protection products containing DDT are currently prohibited.
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