While working in a building where there were several apartments, I noticed an interesting social behavior among the tenants living there. Everyone was affected from mice & bed bugs, but they were not ready to admit that they have bed bugs in their apartment. Especially in case of bed bugs, it seems like their image as a clean and hygienic individual would be damaged and they are not ready to accept that they have bedbugs in their home. I was working on the request of the landlord, therefore, through my professional knowledge and experience, I was very much sure the whole building is affected with the bugs. However, very few tenants reported that there are bed bugs in their apartment. It was very tough to convince them that just let me in to inspect and we just want to make sure for your safety that there are no bed bugs in your house. And guess what … 90% of the apartments were infected among whom 60% had high level of infestation and only 20% of them reported that they are experiencing bed bug bites. For the remaining we inspected their place and showed them the evidence, after which they allowed us to start treatment.
This tells us that social taboos and behaviors can also affect the pest management. Because people are not properly reporting about the presence of the pests because other people would create a bad impression about them if pests are found in their place. This can mostly occurs in places where there are several residential units in one building.
The solution I found to this problem is to educate the people and convince them that such check-ups and investigation is for their own safety and they should not feel bad about sharing information if they have bed bugs in their bed rooms. But still, human nature is different everywhere and one need good skills to tackle this challenge in their pest control management.