Termite Time with Marie Knox
Use Simple Tools
Using simple termite identification tools will prove helpful and make your job much easier. Make sure you have a good magnifying hand lens (or microscope), a light source and an easy to use identification key. There are a number of keys available from a variety of sources. Use the one that makes the most sense to you.
"Clear, close up pictures are also helpful..."
Clear, close up pictures are also helpful when making comparisons and many universities with entomology programs make them available either in publications or in the form of ID Guides for purchase. Many can also be found easily online.
Familiarize Yourself with Structures
In the May print issue’s “Tips & Tricks” section of PMP Magazine, I mentioned construction types and conducive conditions as also affecting your treatment techniques and options in addition to the species of termite you’re facing. It is a very good idea to become familiar with basic building construction and the types of construction used in your area of the country.
You don’t need to become a contractor by any means, just getting an understanding of what different types of slabs look like as well as the different termite entry points they each inherently present can be helpful in devising your treatment plan(s). A simple Google image search of key words like “supported slab” or “crawl space construction” for example, will yield endless drawings and pictures you can use to see what lies beneath all that stucco, brick veneer, siding, and paint.
Use Visual Aids
As always, use visuals like pictures and drawings from reputable sources and if you’re using them for more than your own internal training be sure you are not infringing any copyrights. Hands-on training like digging trenches, drilling slabs, probing to find the top of the footer, seeing what concrete overpour looks like is also important.
"Bush up on your math skills."
Reviewing labels and understanding the importance of rates, volumes and inspection techniques on a regular basis are also good ideas. Last, but not least, brush up on math skills at least a couple of times per year. Employing these tips and tricks can help make your company and your termite treatments more efficient, effective and profitable!