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OF DROUGHTS AND FLOODING RAINS

A bout of wild weather is a great excuse for getting in touch with customers. Homes affected by flooding or wind damage should be inspected and most likely retreated, especially those properties with a termite management system in place.

In March, many parts of regional and rural NSW were drought declared. At the same time, communities of the south coast and western Victoria were counting the cost of devastating fires, and NSW flooding rains brought monthly falls within just hours in the Hunter region and mid-north coast. In Queensland, the end of the wet season also brought some of the state’s highest rainfall and flash flooding incidents on record.

It is this contrasting climate that provides our sector with some challenges in terms of pest management. Of all the weather conditions, perhaps the most relevant and the one that provides opportunity is that of flooding rains.

For many parts of Queensland and NSW, the recent heavy rain and flooding have caused the movement of soil. A large volume of moving water not only displaces or replaces soil but also the treatment products that were set in place. Monitoring and baiting systems may also be adversely affected by water and/or ‘flood mud’. This means that pest control treatments of footings, foundations and buildings may have been compromised. It is something that many home and property owners will not be aware of and an opportunity for pest managers to engage and work further with their clients.

So now is the right time to be proactive and contact your clients and check the integrity of work that you have performed at their property.

Advise clients to check with their insurer to determine if the restoration of their termite management program is covered under their policy. It is also important to provide a written recommendation to reinstall the termite management system when the ground has dried out and, in some cases, when soil levels are restored to previous levels.

To assist your own business activities, maintain a record of all properties that you believe have been affected by the weather.

For all retreatments or reinstallations of termite management systems, you must work in accordance with the Australian Standards. This means issuing appropriate paperwork, including a formal termite inspection report and treatment proposal.

As well as affecting the integrity of termite management systems, moisture in and around homes also brings opportunities for pooling water and the risk of infestation by disease-carrying mosquitoes. When reconnecting with customers, you can also offer advice on how to mitigate this type of risk by providing tips on reducing puddle traps and minimising potential breeding grounds.

Reaching out to your clients in this way serves to strengthen your relationship, develop the trust between you, and make future work all the more likely.

Robert Prosser, Technical Officer, Rapid Solutions

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