Digging holes as part of a termite treatment is laborious work, but Power Planter drill bits offer a (literally) groundbreaking solution.

Pest managers choosing to install a termite monitoring system around a property know it will probably be easier than creating a treated zone with a liquid application, but it can still be ‘bloody hard work’. Manually digging between 30-60 holes around the perimeter of a property requires some hard physical labour, a job some pest managers reserve for their juniors. The USA has had an easy solution to this for several years – and now it is available in Australia.

Power Planter is a US-manufactured drilling device designed specifically for coring accurately measured holes in soil. Originally designed as a horticultural tool, Sydney-based Brian Chapman saw the opportunity for Power Planter to relieve pest managers of one of their most laborious and time-consuming installation jobs.

“Power Planter is a device that looks similar to a petrol-powered post hole digger. It was originally designed as a tool for gardeners to dig up compacted hard ground and then cultivate it really well,” explained Mr Chapman.

“A pest manager came up to our stand at one of the gardening expos and started looking very interested, asking, ‘How deep does it go? What other widths do you have? What size drill you need?’ At the end of our conversation I realised the Power Planter drill could be a brilliant solution for pest managers dealing with the regular pain of digging holes for in-ground termite baiting work.”

Mr Chapman is now the exclusive distributor of Power Planter in Australia and has been liaising with pest management professionals to bring the tool to a wider audience.

Creating holes for bait stations requires accuracy as the diameter of the hole in the soil needs to fit the size of the station perfectly. Power Planter offers two main drill bit sizes – 50mm (2in) and 100mm (4in) wide – with other sizes available on request. The drill bits are designed to go straight into an ordinary drill chuck. The main picture above shows the 50mm size, below is the 100mm size.

Power Planter 100mm size

“I’ve learned that post hole diggers have augers that are too big for the bait stations and pest managers end up having to do a lot of backfilling, which leads to loose fitting stations,” said Mr Chapman. “Because Power Planter drill bits fit into a normal drill chuck, pest managers no longer need to be carrying a petrol motor and big auger in their vans. The two main size of drill bits we stock are the perfect size for the majority of termite baiting stations.”

One notable benefit of using a hand-held drilling device over manual digging is not only the effort saved, but also the time. “I’m hearing that technicians are knocking these jobs over in 90 minutes, start to finish, whereas previously they had allocated a team of two for half a day or more,” Mr Chapman added. “To be able to dig and install each station in under a minute is a dream come true for pest managers, and it’s so easy, they don’t even break a sweat.”

Don Wilson of Wilson’s Pest Control in Sydney is one pest manager who has experienced this benefit first hand. “The Power Planter tool has actually cut our time in half for termite station installations… instead of two of us on the job, I can do it on my own,” said Mr Wilson.

Power Planter is manufactured in the US and is available across Australia from selected distributors. Further details and demonstration videos of the tool in action can be viewed on the Power Planter website.

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