Early Destroyers (Exterminators)

Methods of managing bed bugs today can be traced to the first European exterminators. Among the most famous were Tiffin and Son of London, who formed a business back in 1690 to exterminate bed bugs for the wealthy.

The gas-lit sign over their shop read: “May The Destroyers Of Peace Be Destroyed By Us. Bug-Destroyers To Her Majesty.” Recognizing the constant threat of infestation, Tiffin noted: “We do the work by contract, examining the house every year. It’s a precaution to keep the place comfortable as servants are apt to bring bugs in their boxes and clothes.”

Many “secret formulas” over years Claimed to control bed bugs. These advertisements were from the early 1900s.

Tiffin reported finding the most bugs in beds, but cautioned “if left alone they get numerous, climb about the corners of the ceiling, and colonize anywhere they can.”

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