Be weary of black cats and ladders because it’s Friday the 13th!
@TheRandomWords top tweeted earlier claiming that more than 60 million people around the world will stay at home today for fear of something bad happening to them.
It’s a good job we’re not superstitious at Rentokil because there are lots of bad superstitions around mice and rats.
The Encyclopedia of Superstitions (1949, Radford and Radford) is a fascinating read about folklore and superstitions. I dug out the following quotes which I thought would be fun to share with you:
“To kill a beetle is to court bad luck” – not a great tip for a pest control company!
“It will bring back luck if a beetle enters a room in your house or where you are staying” – if I had cockroaches in my house I would definitely consider that as unfortunate.
“If you catch a mouse and shut it alive in a hole in pollard ash, you will shut up your bad luck” Hmmm… not so convinced about this one!
Roasted mice (yum!) have been used as a charm for over 60 centuries to treat colds and sore throats. Mice skeletons have been found in the mouths of pre-Dynastic Egyptians in the Sudan.
Depending where you live peacocks are either good or bad luck. In Asia, the feathers of the peacock are considered protective. However in the early part of the 20th-century in the West, it was considered very bad luck to keep them in the home. The roots in this concept may lie within the desire to protect the bird from extinction. Some cultures also believe that peacock feathers resemble the evil eye.
And finally some ancient greek pest control advice from The Encyclopedia of Superstitions,
Take a piece of paper and write on it as follows:
I adjure you, ye mice or rats here present, that ye neither injure me, nor suffer another mouse or rat to do so. I give you yonder field (a part of the field is indicated), but if I ever catch you here again by the Mother of the Gods I will rend you in seven pieces.
We’ve been working in pest control for over 80 years and we’re yet to find a rat who could read, but some strange things sometimes happen on Friday 13th.