Termite management and a criminal analogy

Subterranean TermiteTermite management and a criminal analogy.

For the general public the concept of termite management is often hard to grasp. The common perception is that their newly acquired house was “certified” during construction therefore it is termite proof!!Many homeowners question the need for annual inspections or are shocked when they discover a termite infestation within their home. My background in teaching has taught me that the best way to explain something to people is to use an analogy that they can relate to. By far my favorite analogy for termite management would have to be using criminals. All homeowners can relate to this and it has many similarities.

Termites are like criminals, we know they are out there on the street looking for an opportunity. There’s not much we can do about that, but we do what we can to reduce the risk of them being able to get into our house. And I highlight the word “risk”. Just like termites there are higher risk areas than others. To reduce the risk of our house being broken into we lock our doors , we light up dark areas at night, we can install security screens and doors, we can install alarm systems or even have security patrols. So as you can see there is a range of methods to reduce the risk  just like termite management, but it all comes down to our budget and what it takes to give us peace of mind. But just like security methods, no single termite management method is 100% foolproof, hence the need for annual inspections.

This analogy can also be used to explain the behavior of termites. Some criminals will back the removal truck up and clean out your house, others will just steal the beer out of your fridge and leave. A similar behavior occurs with a termite infestation, sometimes they will just have a nibble on a carpet smooth edge other times given enough time they can destroy a home.

We can even take the criminal analogy one step further and use it to describe each termite species.

Schedorhinotermes intermedius are the drug affected criminals looking for that quick, easy opportunity.

Nasutitermes walkeri are the teenagers hanging out at the corner shop making a nuisance of themselves and doing more visible damage than anything else.

Mastotermes darwiniensis are the thugs using brute force to break in. Being discreet is not in their vocabulary.

Coptotermes acinaciformis are the “Oceans Eleven” of the termite species, highly organized ,skilled and efficient. These guys will test any system and exploit its weakness.

And then finally there’s the dampwood species which are the law abiding citizens that really will only steal stuff off your front lawn during hardwaste collection week.

We as pest managers need to remember that the general public quite often has had very little experience with termites and when first confronted with termite management, it can be overwhelming. Using an analogy like this, which they can relate to, is the quickest and easiest way for them to grasp the whole concept. Remember we’ve had a career time to get our heads around the concept of management.

Jay Turner
Laguna Pest Control

Beware of Things that go Bump in the Night

Brown RatBeware of things that go bump in the night!

The first string of cold nights has traditionally sent every rat or mouse in the district straight into our roof cavities. Combine that with an exceptionally high summer rainfall and you have conditions that have caused the highest rodent population Eastern Australia has seen in nearly 20 years. You only have to do a google search for “Mouse plague 2011” and a host of links to recent newspaper articles pops up.

As a pest controller myself I have experienced a dramatic increase in rodent related work and many of my suppliers are struggling to meet the demand for rodent control products. With Cooroy, Eumundi, Cootharaba and Peregian Springs areas being dominated by mice whereas Doonan, Noosa, and Sunrise Beach areas being dominated by rats. There reputation as a pest is legendary because of their ability to contaminate and spoil food, spread disease, and cause physical damage combined with the prolific rate at which they reproduce. The biggest concern for homeowners is a rodents habit of chewing electrical wiring often causing dangerous conditions and expensive repairs. Another factor which many people aren’t aware of is the fact that rodents are incontinent which means they basically dribble urine where ever they go, including your kitchen bench.

Another misconception is “its Ok coz they’re native rats”. The fact is native rats generally avoid human habitation and the culprit is often  the introduced Rattus rattus, commonly called the Black or Roof Rat which is very different in appearance to the typical introduced Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus which most people associate with. The other fact that most homeowners underestimate is the extent of the problem. 1 or 2 rats living in your roof go about their daily routine peacefully and quietly causing minimal noise , however when these rats reproduce and their young begin to reach maturity , that’s when dominance and territory jostles begin  and the typical “bump in night noises” begin. So if you’re hearing or seeing rodent activity, then you’ve got a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Unfortunately controlling a rodent population is limited to traps and baits for the homeowner, with traps typically only controlling the “young and dumb“ individuals. Baiting with rodent baits available from your local supermarket can often be enough to control a small or recent infestation. For more persistent activity it’s perhaps best to engage the services of a professional such as myself. For more information or tips on rodent control check out Rats & Mice page.

Jay Turner
Laguna Pest Control

Need A Really Good Pest Technician?

Laguna Pest Control is your honest, reliable trustworthy Pest Control Service. We are a locally owned and operated business run by Jay and Nicky and pride ourselves on our work. Actually, we are passionate about Pest Control and our aim is to make sure that our work speaks volumes about how committed we are to helping our customers solve their pest problems.

Jay is a “guru” when it comes to pests, and is actually a teacher in the field as he has taught at tertiary institutions on the subject. As we are not a large conglomerate, or franchise, we take pride and care in our work.  And because we want to make sure our work is of the highest quality, we guarantee it.  We want our customers to tell their friends and family about our work.  We want to be known as the best in the area.  That’s why we are only focusing and working in the Noosa, Noosa Heads and Noosaville, as well as surrounding areas.

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