Indians are usually tolerant to those “insignificant” bugs that might be crawling around their residential property. Even if the creepy crawlers do elicit some fear, our reaction is rarely more than a mild scream or a mere “shoo”. You usually find that lizards command a higher degree of respect as pests (going by the decibels of shrieks or fear they evoke), rather than cockroaches or flies or ants.
I don’t think many even consider the common household pests as real pests because they just don’t worry us as much. The main concern is not necessarily about destruction of property (which termites do rather well) or spreading disease, but mostly the sight of these wriggling pests.
So, we have been going to schools and residential areas, even office complexes, and talking about the harmful effects of pests. Incidentally, pests too have an interesting story to tell.
- Did you know rats have a weak bladder and urinate freely throughout the house while searching for food?
- Or that pregnant female cockroaches usually stop feeding and go into hiding, making it even more difficult to kill using DIY products?
- And we generally get the audience shrieking (in disgust!) when they find out how flies overcome their problems of eating solid food. First the fly vomits on the food, then stamps on it to make it a liquid, and then sucks it back up. Then after their delightful actions – it’s our turn to eat the same food.
Our aim with this education programme has been to raise awareness on the harmful effects of pests. The real dangers are not always perceived, but can surely be ignored because of a lack of knowledge. The message we leave behind during these awareness programs is:
It actually does make sense to be intolerant to pests.