How to train technicians for termite inspections


May 17, 2017

Joe Barile

Joe Barile, BCE, Technical Services Coordinator, Bayer

Regardless of whether termite services function as a separate division within a pest management business, all technicians should receive regular, basic training about termite biology, behavior and control. Technicians who haven’t been trained how to recognize termite activity might be costing companies business.

Because termites are cryptic insects, train technicians to recognize conditions within structures that are conducive to termite attack. Wood-to-soil contact is an obvious route for subterranean termites to gain entry into structures. But you also should train them to inspect:

  • firewood piles,
  • scrap lumber and building materials, and
  • alternative sources of cellulose that termites can infest.

Inspection training also should involve checking fences, outdoor buildings (sheds, gazebos, pool houses, etc.) and tree stumps. Basic training must provide instruction for physical inspection by probing, sounding and using moisture meters.

If your company serves regions where multiple species of termites are active, teach technicians how to recognize drywood termite activity vs. subterranean termite activity — and even dampwood termite activity, as applicable. Termites are social insects, so control is focused on intercepting termites moving from the colony site and preventing free access into the structure or exposing them to termiticides that are shared, causing colony collapse from soil treatments or baits. The proper application of termite treatment materials is critical to success. Technicians must understand application methods and basic construction techniques to protect the structure effectively.

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