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To do, or not to do, that is the question

Our Technical Department receive many interesting questions.

A recent call was regarding a 'spray' job where our insured had been asked to do a treatment on a property. The property was tenanted.

Unfortunately, when he attempted to organise a start time, he was told by the tenant that he could not do the job because the lady was in her third trimester of pregnancy. He wanted to know where he stood.

In short, while he was dealing with the owner or real estate agent and had received a go ahead, the tenant had the right to say "No".

What to do?

In the first place, know your product. Have SDSs and labels on hand to show the outcome of the trials that have been meticulously recorded by the manufacturer of the product. SDSs show the toxicity of the product you are using as well as other useful information which may inform the tenant how to protect themselves so that your treatment will not be harmful to them. The label has information such as re-entry periods.

If the tenant still refuses to allow the treatment, ask them to notify the owner or real estate agent that they will not allow you to go ahead.

However, don't rely on the tenant doing this. Go to the person who solicited the work and explain the situation to them. You should make it clear that you are ready to commence whenever they are able to obtain clearance from the tenant. You should ask for this clearance to be in writing.

An alternative to this is to go back to the drawing board. While the owner or real estate agent may have asked for a specific form of treatment, in this case a termite chemical application, what you may need to do is provide alternatives to solve their problem.

Some examples would be:

  • inspections until treatment can be applied
  • monitoring and baiting systems as an alternative

These management systems involve reduced or no chemical application on the property, thereby removing the tenant's fear for their unborn child and fulfilling your client's needs.

We are in a time where we have many alternatives when it comes to termite management, and indeed pest control in general. The best way to go is not to restrict yourself, and your income, to one method of action.

If you would like to discuss a technical issue with our Technical Department please call 1300 309 169 and they will be more than happy to help.

If you believe you or your staff have a skills gap, you should check out the new skills assessment tool.