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The First Insecticides And Bug Sprays Were Developed By The US Government

February 12th, 2018

The First Insecticides And Bug Sprays Were Developed By The US Government

Agricultural animals and crops have long been under attack by insect pests. Developing insect pest control methods is the humane thing to do for livestock and the human population. Eradicating insect pests that hinder agricultural activities and spread diseases among livestock is a duty that humans owe animals, the environment and the general population. For more than one hundred years the United States Department of Agriculture has worked tirelessly to prevent crop-loss and insect-borne disease by developing methods of insect pest control. As a result of this long amount of time spent developing pest control technology, officials with the USDA are highly skilled when it comes to insect pests and their management. Some of the most common forms of insect control were probably invented by the USDA long before you were born.

Since the early 1900s the USDA has called on expert help repeatedly in order to properly address insect-related issues in America. One of the most respected among these experts was an entomologist and later employee of the USDA, Leland O. Howard. Howard, pioneered studies into mosquitoes, and he seemed to be aware of the dangers that mosquitoes pose to the human population well before it became common knowledge. Howard published a guide to mosquitoes for the American public in 1912, and he eventually published a book containing an exhaustive list and description of each and every mosquito species dwelling in America.

Right as America entered World War two in 1941 the USDA was called upon to develop products that would protect overseas soldiers from insect-borne diseases. These diseases included plague, malaria, scrub typhus, epidemic typhus, and dengue. Researchers at the USDA responded by developing the first forms of topical insect repellent. In addition to that the USDA also introduced the first aerosol can, and the first insecticides against louse and mosquitoes. Eventually the USDA teamed up with the US Department of Defense in order to develop insecticides that eventually became useful products for the eradication of termites, cockroaches and mosquitoes.

Have you ever wondered who first developed the popular mosquito repellent referred to as DEET?

 

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