What NOT To Say To A Bug-O-Phobe
If you’re afraid of bugs, be it spiders, wasps, or any and all things with more than four legs, we understand. Similarly, if you fear sharp-teethed, long-tailed, disease-ridden rodents, we get it.
Here at Pest Control London, we know that pests of all shapes and sizes are unpleasant, unsettling and unwanted intruders. Some people fear rats and mice, others fall apart at the thought of roaches and mites. Either way, the fear can be crippling and the understanding, sometimes, lacking.
So whether you’re the victim of a scarring infestation, or someone trying to comfort your pest-fearing friends and family members, read on to see what NOT to say to rodent, pest and bug-o-phobes.
“They’re more afraid of you than you are of them”
No. No they aren’t. Not when you’re actually afraid of them. If you have a pest phobia then regardless of how terrifyingly large you are compared to them, they are still scarier by far. Plus, there could be many, many more of them. An infestation. A home overrun with pests. Now who’s afraid?
Instead, you’d be better off saying something along the lines of “yes, they’re a tad scary, but you’re far bigger, so stay calm and bluff that you’re not afraid”. Far more helpful.
“They don’t mean you any harm” or “It’s harmless”
Try again. If they were all harmless, there wouldn’t be so many reports and warnings and anti-venoms and public service announcements, or hygiene training focusing specifically on the diseases and parasites carried by pests.
So instead of trying to cliché away the cold hard truth that pests do, in fact, pose a risk to health, use facts.
“There are [insert comforting fact/statistic here] reports of any serious injuries or deaths from [insert pest here] so these are actually less harmful than, say, scorpions and spiders in the desert and jungle” is likely to work better than “the thing built with pincers/teeth/a stinger/venom/a blood-sucking fang is not going to hurt or harm you”.
“You’re overreacting” or “Don’t panic”
“Don’t panic” you say. “You’re overreacting” you say. Neither of which is helpful. At all
The point of a phobia, and even a straightforward fear, is the irrational sense of panic and terror. The person in question will see what scares them and immediately, uncontrollably, start to panic.
It’s not that they’re overreacting, it is just that they see pests for what they really are (just on a bigger, scarier scale); blood-sucking, skin-itching, nest-making, egg-laying, food-contaminating, disease-carrying nuisances.
They aren’t overreacting. They’re realists.
Now, it’s likely that you’ve used one or more of these sayings in the past. It could be that you were trying to be funny and lighten the mood, or it could be that you were genuinely trying to help and didn’t know what to say.
So rest assured that, as experts in the bug and pest business, we know first-hand that the above do not help, and very rarely make those who are afraid feel any better.
Instead, help find any signs of infestation so something can be done about it, or call us to make good use of our expertise and services, by putting everyone’s mind at ease once and for all.
If in doubt, a nice warm cuppa should tie most people over until we get there!