Most of us have never seen a bed bug. We know of them from the old bedtime rhyme our parents told us as they tucked us in: “Good night, sleep tight don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
Bed bug infestations were common in North America before WWII, however the wide spread use of a chemical called DDT during the 40’s and 50’s and the significant improvement in hygiene bed bugs pretty much disappeared. Other parts of the world weren’t as fortunate – bed bugs still remained very prevalent in places like Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
In recent years bed bugs have made a comeback to North America. It is believed that the increase of international travel and immigration are responsible for this comeback. Bed bugs are being seen more and more in homes, hotels, motels, apartment/condo buildings, university dorms, shelters, schools, healthcare facilities, public transportation. They have also been spotted in movie theatres, moving trucks and laundry mats.
A LOOK AT THE PAST…
- Bed bugs have been documented as a pests since the 17th century.
- There is evidence of fossilized bed bugs that dates back over 3500 years ago.
- The first human encounter – cavemen!
- They were introduced into North America by the early colonists.
- After World War II, the widespread use of synthetic non-targeted insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced the presence of bed bugs within North America.
- Improvements in household and personal cleanliness contributed to their reduced pest status in the late 40’s and 50’s.