Under the impression that they were a “thing of the past,” most of us have been caught off guard by the resurgence of bed bugs. Now that they’ve got our attention, let’s take this opportunity to learn a little more about where these bugs come from. Just like people, bed bugs have their own history.
It’s theorized that bed bugs may have originated in caves, feeding on bats and birds. These pests have been reference in writings from ancient Greece. Writings from across the globe show the traffic patterns of bed bugs over the course of history–Germany in the 11th century, Frances in the 13th, and England in the 16th. They remained a common pest until the mid-20th century, even being called “greatest nuisance insect problem…at bases in the U.S” during World War two.
The recurrence of bed bugs has been attributed to a number of causes, including their newfound resistance to pesticides; the exchange of second-hand furniture; an increase international travel; and the ban of DDT, a powerful, highly toxic pesticide.