Chemical pest control dates back 4,500 years, when
the Sumerians used sulfur compounds as insecticides.
The Rig Veda, which is about 4,000 years old, also
mentions the use of poisonous plants for pest control.
And the ancient Chinese and Egyptians are also known
to have used chemical pest control. But it was only
with the industrialization and mechanization of agriculture
in the 18th and 19th century, and the introduction
of the insecticides pyrethrum and derris that chemical
pest control became the method of choice.
In the 20th century, the discovery of several synthetic
insecticides, such as DDT, and herbicides boosted
this development. Chemical pest control is still the
predominant type of pest control today, although its
long-term effects led to a renewed interest in traditional
and biological pest control towards the end of the