In a telephone interview dr Eugene Gerberg, currently at the University of Florida in Gainesville, discussed his bed bug experience as an entomologist working with the US army medical corps in the late 1940s. ” Bed bugs were a huge problem “. At the base where I was stationed, we made went over 700 applications using cyanide gas applied as discs to kill bed bugs. In one Sergeant’s room, we must have easily killed over a thousand. For safety we work in teams of three, placing the cyanide disc and worked our way out of the building. An armed guard was stationed to keep people out, and the building was sealed for 24 hours. We returned the next day to air out the building and assess the results. We never had to do any retreats. And DDT worked great too, ” recalls Dr. Gerberg.

   In the years following world war II, the use of DDT grew and was highly efficient against many past including bed bugs. Older pest control veterans report that they simply would load up their sprayer and make a thorough spray application to home to rid it of bed bugs using DDT. These folks also report that just one application was all that was needed, and rarely did these applications require re-treatments due to the excellent efficacy of DDT. However, due to environmental concerns, DDT was pulled from the market, and currently researched indicated that even if it were available for use today, bed bugs would develop resistance to DDT.

   The publication of the book silent springs by Rachel Carson and the significant adverse effects of DDT on wild bird eggs and other environmental issues led to the discontinued use of DDT and the United States. This was eventually followed by discontinued use elsewhere in the world. While there has been a significant outcry for more efficacious products to use against bed bugs, the environmental protection agency is not about to re-register DDT, nor is it going to turn anyone loose professional or not, with cyanide to control bed bugs today, tomorrow, next year, or any time soon.

    Once a common occurrence up to and including the post-world war II era in the United States, ask your grandparents, bed bugs were nearly eliminated from the United States by the late 1960s. I fact,  many of today’s pest professionals had not even seen a bed bug in their career until just a few years ago. some industry insiders assert that there has been an entire generation of past professionals who have never seen a live bed bug or done a bed bug job.

Reference from:The Bed Bug Combat Manual by paul j. bello