I was at the dentist the other day & in between rinse and spit and the anesthesia slurred words we had a pretty good conversation. Of course the topic came around to pest control, as it often does and soon I found myself trying explain about this bug or that pest. For some reason people are always amazed when you give out little factoids or when you, politely’, correct a certain belief they’ve had maybe for years.
Campontus floridanus dunt eet wude– I said while drooling. No I’m not that smart, it just came out that way with the effect of the “happy juice” he shot in me–. “Ahhhh he exclaimed in relief as he repeated my words. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood!, I get it.” From there however the conversation went the way of many that I’ve been involved with over the years–my guess is you have too.
It’s when suddenly, you’re expected to be an expert in ALL things creature related even though you might not know a thing about the subject. In a way, this quote seems to sum it up quite appropriately.
I’m always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. What I can’t understand is, if they don’t know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?
The Expert In Us All
It’s funny how people just come to expect that exterminators know just about everything about anything that crawls, slithers or flies. While it’s true we hone our craft through much training and field experience. That over time we see some really rare or extraordinary situations which allow us to figure out the next case with a bit more ease. However, for the most part, your average bug man is well versed in household pests and the things he/she is paid to prevent or eradicate, not in the mating habits of the North American Skink or anything about the largest American moth, you know, The Royal Walnut Moth who has a wing span of about 4 1/2 inches. (Geesh, everyone knows that)
Then of course there’s the excrement field of study. Oh my, EVERYBODY’S got some poop for you to look at. Look at this poop what about that plop who would make that smear? and on and on it goes. 1/2 the time it’s not even fecal matter at all but just household debris but God forbid don’t say that! Household pest poop must be a personal thing because people will defend their assertion with their lives & what’s more — YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE!!
Sorry–got a bit carried away, it’s just that I’ve had many a conversation about what poop was or was not and then add in the fact it’s rarely cleaned up from my last service so it now looks like (to them) a chronic problem… I just couldn’t help but digress.
It’s Probably Your Fault
You the professional most likely don’t want to admit this, but this stereotype about you is probably your own fault. I mean you use words like chitin inhibitor, synapse, holometabolous, thigmotropic and on and on. You sound like a scientists already so what is your unsuspecting customer suppose to think? Then you piece clues together like a detective and find the source of a problem when it seemed an impossible task. Add to that you can’t keep your big trap shut and you start telling some fantastic stories about great infestations or whacky wild things you’ve experienced in the past and lo and behold— You have now assumed the role of EXPERT on ALL Things Creepy Crawly and other things as well. Yep that’s right, deserved or not, get ready for the questions about why spiders die with their legs curled up, the calls about how to keep frogs from nesting in the gaps of your siding and then the looks of disappointment when you’re not able to explain the migration of the Melanoplus sanguinipes or the decline of the honey bee.
Yep, my thinking is that this is a monster we created all by ourselves and honestly–there isn’t much we can do nor do I think maybe we want to do about it.–but of course, we all knew that already 😉 Just how to deal with it? Well why not try this quote, I think it just might help.
I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. he told me to wear a brown tie.