Pilgrims had to deal with pests, too

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Hundreds of years ago, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock sat down and had a meal to give thanks. While turkey, corn, and friends were all abundant at this feast, so were plenty of pests, waiting to get their share of the meal. The pests of the past are not much different from the pests of today, but the methods in which they are taken care of differ significantly; you’d be quite surprised on how our Pilgrim friends dealt with these pilgrim pests.

As the Mayflower made its voyage over to the New World, the mischievous weevil was busy chowing down on the crew’s food supply. Weevils were notorious for slipping into a ship’s food supply and having their own feast, but instead of regarding these critters as pests, sailors welcomed them. Food taken on voyages were dried out and made to last for months, so the tunnels the weevils made as they ate made it easier for the sailors to eat their food too. Not to mention free protein.

In the actual colony and around the time of the first Thanksgiving, the pest that bugged the Pilgrims was the infamous cockroach. Cockroaches were incorrectly labeled as moths during colonial times, but they still proliferated nonetheless. These critters thrive in dirty living environments, and since sanitation was a lost art in the Plymouth Colony, these little buggers were out in force. Improperly stored food, poor sanitation in outhouses, and sewage in the streets all were to the cockroach’s benefit. Since no pest control techniques were discovered, the only thing the Pilgrims could do is step on these guys; not the most effective way to deal with an infestation.

Finally, the biggest pest of all the Pilgrims had to deal with, is one of the biggest pests we deal with today: The fly. Flies, like cockroaches, thrive in unsanitary conditions, so the Plymouth Colony was just the place for the fly to live on. Spreading disease, is was, and still is, regarded as the most annoying pest. Swatting was the only thing the Pilgrims could do, which proved to not be very effective.

Pests have pestered people for centuries and will continue to do so; the pilgrim pests of yesterday are still the pests of today, but now we’re better equipped to handle them than ever before.

From all of us at Tri-County Pest Control, we wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving!

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