Influence of the public's perception, attitudes, and knowledge on the implementation of integrated pest management for household insect pests

Bruce Schoelitsz*, Bastiaan G. Meerburg, Willem Takken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Households are mini-ecosystems that provide a variety of conditions in which a variety of insect species can develop. Whether these insects are considered pests, largely depends on the perception, attitudes, and knowledge of the human inhabitants of the house. If considered unacceptable, residents can attempt to manage the insects themselves, or hire a professional. A pest management professional can provide a quick-fix solution, often relying on the sole use of insecticides, or a sustainable solution through integrated pest management (IPM). In this review, it is discussed how the public's perception, attitudes, and knowledge affect the implementation of IPM in the household through the following steps: inspection, identification, establishment of a threshold level, pest control, and evaluation of effectiveness. Furthermore, recent and novel developments within the fields of inspection, identification, and pest control that allow to address pest infestations more effectively are described and their implementation in the household environment is discussed. In general, pest management in the household environment is reactive instead of pro-active. The general public lacks the knowledge of the pest insects’ biology to identify the species, perform a proper inspection and identify causes of pest presence, as well as the knowledge of the available tools for monitoring and pest control. The percentage of individuals that seek professional aid in identification and pest control is relatively low. Moreover, the perception of and attitudes towards household insects generally result in low threshold levels. Current developments of methods for monitoring, identification, and control of insect pests in the household environment are promising, such as DNA barcoding, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight and RNA interference. Efforts should be strengthened to alter the perception and attitude, and increase the knowledge of the non-professional stakeholders, so that correct pest management decisions can be taken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume167
Issue number1
Early online date11 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • DNA barcoding
  • household environment
  • identification
  • inspection
  • IPM
  • nuisance
  • pest control
  • RNAi
  • threshold level

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