A termite management plan is a plan of action that you as a professional pest management technician devises for your customer. Its purpose is to assist you in tackling a termite problem in their property, in a holistic manner. But what does it entail?
Your plan will cover the steps you’ll take as a pest manager to resolve the immediate issue, including a termite management system. It’ll also include a maintenance program, that your customer needs to take up to reduce the risk of termites coming back.
This article delves into how to create a comprehensive termite management plan.
Termite problems for property owners
Many customers with a pest problem may be unaware of its extent. This is often the case with a termite infestation. They may be unaware of the degree of damage (or potential imminent damage) to their property. They also may be contributing to the problem without knowing they are!
What they do know is they want you to make the problem go away, and the quicker the better.
As we all understand, termites can gain access to places that are hard to see or reach. They burrow and live in wood or underground, which means they can attack a property while remaining largely unseen.
Getting rid of termites is a significant process, which is exactly why you need a termite management plan. It’s more than simply applying one treatment in one place then setting and forgetting. Your customer needs to know this.
They also need to understand there are actions they need to take themselves to help reduce the risk of future termite infestation. Simple things like lowering soil levels that cover inspection zones, removing or raising timber stored on the ground. These improve your inspection and increase the probability that you’ll be able to see termites attempting to enter the property during your future inspections.
Termite management plan pre-work – inspection and assessment
A termite inspection, assessment and treatment process can be a big educational process for the customer, particularly if they’ve never had a termite problem before.
Ideally, you’ll speak to them face to face to explain the extent of the termite problem. Discuss with them what treatment options are available that could suit them, and the cost involved.
Then you’ll need to follow up with a written communication, ideally an email. This will include the formal termite management plan proposal, which has the same information and options you discussed. Termite management requires a maintenance plan as well as an initial treatment plan; your customer must be aware of all that’s involved, including their responsibilities for booking follow up inspections and actioning your recommendations.
Be sure to cover all bases to achieve the best outcome for you and your customer. Including reading our article on how to avoid a claim in termite management. This will help you avoid an insurance claim against your work.
Then request your customer agrees to the plan via a written communication, so you can save this on file.
Termite management proposal
As a pest management professional, you know there are many ways to approach each job and no two are the same. After all, there are nearly as many types of termites in Australia as there are days in the year. And even though only a small percentage of these cause property damage, each genus – and indeed, species – operates differently.
Your role is to provide your customer with information about the breadth and limitations of your inspection, all their treatment options and your treatment recommendations. And, as mentioned above, you have a responsibility to ensure they understand it.
Explaining this information to your customer gives them a level of understanding and control over what option or options to choose.
When it comes to treatment options, getting rid of termites from a property can include steps such as:
- Determining visual inspection zones
- Examining evidence of the termites’ existence – past and present
- Exploring the extent of the present issue
- Reporting on your findings (reading pre-purchase inspection report tips and using a reporting writing app like Rapid Inspect will help greatly with this)
- Determining the appropriate termite management system
- Describing how you’ll apply it
All of these and more might be included in your termite management plan. Depending on your customer’s wants, needs and budget, of course.
Implementing a termite management plan and system
As you can see, essentially a termite management plan is a strategy that will help a property owner manage or reduce the risk of termite damage to their property. Your plan could include reducing termite conducive conditions and getting rid of anything that attracts them.
The plan outlines the frequency of inspections and includes some form of system to manage the issue. This may be a physical and/or chemical management system as well as a baiting and monitoring system. The management system will need to be maintained, including the frequency of renewal and frequency of inspection.
The termite management plan is an outline of all of these in one document so your customer can follow the progress. The termite management plan also helps your customer understand their involvement in terms of planning, scheduling, costs and any actions they need to take themselves to reduce the insect pressure on their property.
Does home insurance cover termite damage?
The termite management plan is very important because a property is typically a customer’s biggest investment. Home insurance doesn’t generally protect against termite damage.
As a result, it’s important to reduce the risk of termite damage by having a termite management plan in place. If left untreated, termites can cause property damage that may cost many thousands of dollars in repairs.
Protecting yourself from damage
Of course, as a professional pest manager your job is to protect your customer’s property from pests. While on the job you don’t always know what hazards will arise. For example, electrical wiring might come undone, or a window might break, or a tile could crack.
There are many ways that accidents can happen – even when you do your job perfectly.
Having general liability insurance will help you cover the associated costs such as replacing valuables or repairing property accidentally damaged during the course of the job. Professional indemnity insurance will cover you against claims of breach of duty, professional negligence and more. You can even insure your tools and vehicle that you use for business.
While protecting your customer’s property with a termite treatment plan, consider how well your own business is protected.
Termite management plan – over to you
If you’re a pest manager or studying to become one, tell us about your experience of a termite management plan. Do you have any interesting stories about termite infestations? What is the worst you’ve seen or dealt with? We’re interested to hear more. Send us a note in the comments and share your experience.