We are going to take a break from the bugs platform and talk a little about what pest control means today. When I took care of your grandparents home back in the seventies, when I first entered into the pest control industry, pest control looked a lot different from today, which was far different from when my father started working in the industry in the nineteen fifties. The thing is that laws change, science changes, perspectives change, but the one thing that hasn’t is the fact that we don’t want to deal with all of the annoying bugs.
Have you ever heard anyone say that they wished we could use the good stuff from yester years? Well quite frankly the good stuff from yester years can’t hold a candle to the products that we use today. When my father began his career they used oil based sprays and dusts like DDT. Most of the chemicals used were from one of four chemical classifications, Organophosphates, Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, Inorganics like cyanide or Organics like Nicotine. When Rachel Carson wrote the book “Silent Spring” it caused a lot of controversy and discussion. Was it science or theory. This gave way to new government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and legislation like the “Clean Water Act”.
This inspired more debate and change. When I start working in the industry fulltime in the late seventies gone were DDT and the majority of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons and new materials were being formulated in new chemical classifications such as Carbamates and Pyrethroids. Since my start we’ve seen this evolution continue until we today have Synthetic Pyrethroids, Neonicotinoids and others. I was instructed that if we didn’t leave white puddles of pesticides on the ground with the eaves dripping and if it didn’t stink, I didn’t do my job well enough.
Change can be hard. We like what we have and it works for us, so why change? No one likes to be regulated and have laws change that affect the way you practice your trade, but through those regulations and changes things got better. Science and chemistry had to change to comply with the new laws and regulations. Some things worked, some things didn’t but the end result is the ability today to have a better control of pests with far less pesticides being applied and the new materials used today are much more environmentally friendly. We no longer apply ten to fifteen gallons of pesticides on your property to achieve minimal control of bugs, now it’s ounces to perhaps a gallon or two of finished spray (mixed with water), for a drastically improved control of your unwanted pests.
Sorry for the length of this blog, but it’s hard to summarize years of changes in a few paragraphs. In the upcoming blogs, we will discuss some of the changes which have occurred that have led to a far better world in the pest control industry for you, your children, your pets and those of us employed in the industry.