Date of this Version
ABSTRACT: Since commensal vertebrate pest problems are largely "people problems," a well-planned and executed educational intervention could be the single most important component in an integrated pest management (IPM) program. The basic purpose of educational interventions is to bring sufficient information and understanding to affected clients so that they can and will intercept and control pests in the infested habitat. The encouragement of client participation in producing educational materials is consistent with learning theory and pest management principles. Such production methods allow materials to be closely aligned with client concerns and establish a climate for mutual exchange of ideas between the clients and the IPM professionals. Furthermore, this partnership approach provides an avenue by which a pest management agency may invest its efforts in community-empowering activities aimed at future collective actions which need not depend on professionals, and may be an important step for agency personnel (government vector-control experts, international aid organizations, etc.) in eliminating victim-blaming exercises in futility. The photonovel technique discussed here emphasizes the utilization of client-community resources to enhance the efforts of outside professionals. While the specific example described and analyzed applies to urban rodent control, the concept is applicable to many subjects (including vertebrate IPM and disease prevention programs), to most cultures (in developed and developing countries), and to a broad range of clients (community members, food plant staff, etc.).