World Pest Day is observed every June 6 to raise awareness about effective pest management practices and how they benefit the quality of human and plant life. Did you know that humans have been controlling pest infestation since 3000 B.C.? Pests are organisms that spread diseases, cause destruction, or constitute a nuisance. Familiar pests are ants, rodents, termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and bed bugs. Different methods are used to control pests, including pesticides, biological control agents, electronic devices, and physical means. World Pest Day, also known as World Pest Awareness Day, is an initiative by the Chinese Pest Control Association.
History of World Pest Day
While pest control might be as old as agriculture, the first instance was not recorded until 3000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians applied biological control agents by introducing cats to manage rodent populations in their grain stores. They also introduced mongooses into homes to control rodents and snakes. In 2500 B.C., the Sumerians of Mesopotamia began using sulfur compounds as insecticides. In 1200 B.C., the Chinese employed predatory ants against pests such as beetles and caterpillars to protect citrus orchards. They also used botanical insecticides to treat seeds.
While there was a continued development in pest management during Medieval times in other parts of the world, Europe regressed and adopted superstitious tactics. However, that changed with the scientific awakening during the Renaissance. New chemical repellents were discovered, including nicotine and arsenic. In the 1700s, German physician Franz Ernst Brückmann invented a mechanical flytrap to capture various insects. Brückmann later invented the flea trap, which became a popular fashion accessory during Victorian times. In 1879, James M. Keep patented the first lethal mousetrap, which used a set of spring-loaded, cast-iron jaws. New chemical insecticides were developed between the late 1800s and after WWII, including D.D.T., herbicides, organophosphates, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
During the 1960s, the public became aware of the harmful impacts of these chemical pesticides on the environment. That led to the re-emergence of biological control. Although chemical pest control is still the primary method for pest management today, people are beginning to take an interest in traditional and natural pest control. On June 6, 2017, the Chinese Pest Control Association pioneered the first World Pest Day, collaborating with the Federation of Asian and Oceania Pest Managers’ Association, the National Pest Management Association, and the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations.
World Pest Day timeline
Ancient Egyptians use cats to control the rodent population.
The Sumerians employ sulfur compounds as insecticides.
James M. Keep patents the first lethal mousetrap.
The Chinese Pest Control Association launches World Pest Day at the Beijing Hotel.
World Pest Day FAQs
What is the most common pest?
Ants are the most common pests. There are 10 quadrillions of them on Earth, and they can be found almost everywhere.
What is the best pest control method?
Chemical pest control is the most effective method, and it’s used everywhere. However, it can be dangerous when handled by an untrained individual.
How much does pest control cost?
The cost of pest control for your house varies, depending on the pest and preferred plan. On average, pest control for a one-time visit by an exterminator is usually between $250 and $600.
How to Observe World Pest Day
Fumigate your house
If you haven’t done so in a long time or have never fumigated your house before, here is an opportunity to do that. Check with one of your local pest control services and book an appointment. You can search on Google Maps for fumigation service providers close to you.
Learn safer pest control techniques
If you are concerned about the damage that chemical pest control methods have on the environment, find a biological approach to pest control, such as eco-friendly natural pest-control products. One popular way is to keep the natural enemies of these pests as pets. Cats, dogs, barn owls, or birds can, in some cases, help to control rodents and certain bugs.
Attend a World Pest Day event
Each year, various relevant organizations host an event for World Pest Day. If you are interested in pest control, you can attend the one happening in your area. You can expect to come back with innovative pest control techniques.
5 Interesting Facts About Pests
Flies taste with their feet
A fly’s taste receptors, chemonsensilla, are located in their feet.
Cockroaches lived during the Jurassic period
Cockroaches have been around for over 200 million years.
Raccoons have hands
They have hands with five fingers, which are nimble enough to unlace shoes.
Mosquitoes love smelly feet
Mosquitoes are attracted to the odor given off by sweaty feet and socks.
Scorpion babies are born live
Scorpions give birth to their babies alive rather than laying eggs.
Why World Pest Day is Important
It promotes pest control
Poor pest control can lead to unpleasant consequences for households, countries, and the world. World Pest Day offers an opportunity for professionals and agencies to come together and develop strategies to combat global pest infestation and set standards for responsible pest management.
It contributes to public health
World Pest Day brings these statistics into the limelight. It provides an avenue for professionals to sensitize the public to the need for appropriate pest management.
Pest control is essential to food security
Pests do not only affect humans. They also destroy plants and food and contribute to global hunger. About 20% to 40% of global crop production is lost to pests each year. Effective pest control and management ensure that proper measures are put in place to minimize the impact, especially in vulnerable regions.
World Pest Day dates