Seeing is believing for FNQ homeowners
Rodney Greenhalgh of Greenhalgh Pest Services in Cairns is never short of a word, but he’s found there are times when it’s better to let pictures do the talking.
Rodney was an early convert to Termidor HE Termiticide, the ‘high efficiency’ formulation of the leading termiticide solution from BASF. Having used Termidor Residual ever since it was launched, Rodney was impressed when the BASF team demonstrated that there was now an even better alternative to the previous best option.
He appreciates the practical advantages of Termidor HE’s advanced polymer technology for his team and knows his customers will be equally appreciative of the end result. But first they have to be convinced it’s worth spending a bit more on the superior treatment and that’s where a picture can be worth at least a few hundred words of reassurance.
“The more I use Termidor HE, the better feedback I get,” says Rodney. “I think it's a great product. It’s fantastic on tiles.” But of course house-proud customers don’t know that before work begins. “They say ‘Oh, you’ll have to drill my tiles.’ So I show them photos of previous jobs we’ve done – which are also on our website – and they see the neat finish. I’ve got quite a few Termidor HE jobs that way.”
Those images are a great shortcut to give customers the same confidence in Termidor HE that Rodney has in abundance and they’ve helped increase the percentage of work he does with the advanced formulation instead of the standard Termidor Residual version.
He’s also a big fan of the back-up he gets from both BASF. “The BASF area sales managers are often in Cairns, and we get the road shows as well. Plus we have the brochures to help explain the product and BASF have got a great website.” Rodney’s happy to direct customers looking for a more technical explanation of the protection they’ll get to the company’s promotional material. It all helps calm customers’ fears that termites will be uncontrollable and show them the value of premium treatment.
“I haven’t had any trouble at all since I started using Termidor HE,” Rodney says. “And no problem selling it and quoting it either. Much as I love Termidor HE, it is more expensive and money is tight up here. But my quotes for it aren’t that much more because I’m cutting labour by a third. On an average two or three-bedroom home it’s only two or three hundred dollars extra. I used to quote on Termidor Residual for soil (unless it was really hard soil) and Termidor HE for the concreted or tiled surfaces. Now I give them the option of using Termidor HE for the lot. The first thing I say is that I’ll quote on one product because it's the best.”
Every time one of those quotes is accepted, Rodney knows he and his team can get it done a lot faster than conventional treatment would take. That’s always an advantage, but especially if the job is a long way out of Cairns. Greenhalgh Pest Services work as far afield as Cardwell in the south and right up to Cooktown, so getting the job done quickly is a handy way to offset the long travel times that can be involved.
“The 450 millimetre spacings have been phenomenal,” says Rodney. “I remember twenty years ago, working with my dad, when you had to drill every 200 millimetres. It was very frustrating and the treatment would bubble up through the next hole and then you’d have to cap it. The job we’re doing at the moment, I’ll have that injected in two hours. With a conventional treatment, if you had a thick slab you’d be three or four hours just drilling.”
It’s twelve years since Rodney and his wife took over the business from his father, but his dad still takes a lively interest in some of the advances that have made the job easier since he retired. “I showed Termidor HE to my dad soon after we started using it and he said ‘You must be loving the new spacings!’”
The extra flexibility with spacings also comes in handy for re-using existing holes. “If you’re using old bifenthrin treatment holes with 300 millimetre spacings, you just open up the plugs and use them again. It might only take you twenty minutes to clear the plugs around the whole house and save you an hour-and-a-half drilling.”
Rodney’s had the chance to compare the two Termidor formulations on the same site on a few occasions, including a comparison test he did on a patch of soil, and he says: “I was absolutely amazed at how the Termidor HE soaked in. It just dropped through the soil – soil so hard the Termidor Residual was beading.”
Rodney has two simple tips for applying Termidor HE quickly and with total assurance. First, he really appreciates the rate cards BASF provides. He gives them to his technicians to help them calculate how much product is needed. Then they use a flow meter to make sure the delivery is accurate. “I’m a practical man. I’ll use anything that works. That card’s sensational. It’s a great tool. And the flow meter – we do the flow test on every job. I wouldn’t use Termidor HE without it.”
While Rodney’s glad he made the switch to Termidor HE, he’s now satisfied to stick with it rather than looking to the next new thing from a different supplier. “When I see other termiticides coming on the market, I couldn’t tell you how they’re supposed to work. I’m just not interested. We’ve been using Termidor since it was launched, and other BASF products even before that. Now we’ve also got Seclira. You could say we’re pretty happy with them! Why change from something that works, and works fantastically?”