It can be scary being a termite specialist, knowing that your enemy can be totally concealed deep within a building’s timbers, working away at your client’s biggest asset and leaving behind building timbers on the cusp of collapse. It is not a career choice that was recommended by our family solicitor and you may see from time to time a pest controller evading the press reporters on his way to court with a coat over his head. A quick look at the attached photo of a veranda post in Broadford will tell you why – you just cannot see if termites are infesting a building timber. There is often NO VISUAL SIGN (although there are ways to reduce the risk of them lurking), but the timber can be turned to paper under your nose.
Photo Credit: Termite Specialists
It is a funny thing though. I have been running a termite control business for nearly 30 years, treating thousands of infestations and have never had a complaint about missing concealed termites. Maybe I am lucky, but there are a few basic principles that this business follows that may have helped.
- We inform our clients about our limitations, prior to starting work. We do this both verbally and in our paperwork.
- We train our technicians thoroughly, not only with the registered pest course, but also in – house training. We also give our trainees a long work experience with us, shoulder to shoulder, before they are given inspection work of their own. This period can be as long as 12 months. This is expensive for us to do, but it takes time to develop the experience and skills necessary to provide consistent results against these pests.
- We schedule work is accordance with the specialist’s requirements and do not try to squeeze extra work out of them. Their work is therefore unhurried and they have time to discuss / explain to our clients.
- We use specialised equipment where appropriate. This equipment is not magic, and generally will not find a discrete termite infestation. We still rely on the skill of the specialist to do that. He looks for tiny visual clues and constantly uses a long handled tapper to create the distinctive audible clues given by termite damaged timbers. Once a suspect spot has been detected, we then use instruments such as a moisture meter or radar movement detector to help us confirm if there is current termite activity.
Fortunately, we did manage to detect those concealed termites for our client in Broadford. It was not hard – a quick tap and an experienced ear was all it took, and I am confident that we can bring her termite infestation under control using the latest generation of growth hormone termite baits.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick Kavanagh