The scientific name for Bed Bug is Cimex Lectularius. They have also been called; wall louse, house bug, mahogany flat, red coat, crimson ramblers as well as others.
In researching the existence of the Bed Bugs and how long the insect has been here you would have to say that bed bugs have lived in the shadows of human civilization since the dawn of time. Bed bug remains were found among Egyptian artifacts dating back more than 3,500 years. The ancient Greeks and Romans complained of them, and Pliny the Elder included them in his book on Natural History dated back to 77AD. It is also reported that the Chinese recorded their presence too. It is documented that in the early 17th century the English colonies and Canada both had severe bed bug problems. The infestation was so severe in some of the old sailing ships that they forbade passengers and colonists from bringing any kind of bedding on board for fear of further infestation.
Eva Panagiotakopulu of Sheffield University discovered this Bed Bug when excavating garbage dumps at a workmen’s village at el Amarna
By the early 20th century it was almost impossible to find a person who had not been bitten or at least seen a bed bug. Bed bugs were one on the top three pests found in structures such as housing and vessels used to travel. Bed bugs were found almost any place humans occupied. Reports showed that at least 1/3rd of the population in big cities was infested. In areas of lower income almost all residences had bed bugs at least one time or another. Bed bugs were considered “public enemy number one”.
Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers.
With the use of DDT and other insecticides bed bugs almost disappeared, at least in the more developed countries. DDT would be sprayed or dusted on and around the bed and the bugs would disappear for at least a year. After a few years control remained effective with the other chlorinated hydrocarbons.
By the 1950’s American entomologists were hard pressed to find a live bed bug for their laboratory work. Bed bugs had gone from being a major household pest to an occasional pest usually found in socially depressed setting or unusual circumstances such as shelters, prisons, youth hostels or cabins but almost never found in homes or hotels. The bugs all but vanished. The pests remained fairly prevalent however in other regions of the world including Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
From the 1940s onward, DDT was used to kill agricultural pests and disease-carrying insects because it was cheap and lasted longer than other insecticides. DDT helped much of the developed world, including the United States and Europe, eradicate malaria. In 1972 DDT was banned from use in America after the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which raised concern over DDT’s effects on wildlife and people, the chemical was banned in many countries. After the banning of DDT and other insecticides bed bugs began to make a comeback. Due to the fact that they were never completely eradicated, they came back with a vengeance. When you consider their repopulation at a time when people had begun to travel internationally at much greater numbers you can see how this re-growth has multiplied at a great rate. Bed bugs today are increased by 5000% over the past 5 years. At this rate of growth we could be facing an infestation epidemic.