There was a time, not so long ago, when getting rid of bugs from homes (and offices) was a ‘hit-or-miss’ affair. Usually a miss! The problem was that while a good deal was already known about insect physiology and habits, almost all of the pesticides we now take for granted simply didn’t exist.
For those out there who prefer that we have the ideal solutions to all our buggy woes, a lack of pesticides might seem like a good thing. It isn’t! Were it not for insecticides we would be unable to produce the amount of food needed to feed the world’s ever-growing population. Of course, mistakes have been made in the past, or course. We only have to remember the problems created by the overuse (and misuse, in some cases) of substances such as DDT. However, we've come a long way from the days of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and the welcome changes its publication brought about.
Just consider the role that pesticides have played in reducing the risk of mosquito-borne disease like malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, encephalitis, and Zika virus, to name but a few. It’s worth keeping in mind, for instance, that in 2018 alone there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide, resulting in an estimated 405,000 deaths. That number would be much, much greater were it not for the existence of pesticides and their role in combating the mosquito.