Ben can help sniff out your ter­mite prob­lems

Southern Riverina news - - BUILDING & RENOVATION -

River­side Pest Man­age­ment last year wel­comed a new mem­ber to its team, who is an ex­pert in ter­mite de­tec­tion.

His name is Ben and he’s a work­ing cocker spaniel with an un­be­liev­able nose for the pest.

Ben comes from a cham­pion blood­line of de­tec­tion dogs. His grand­fa­ther Pete was a top ter­mite de­tec­tion dog work­ing in Syd­ney, his fa­ther Ess is a top ter­mite and bed bug de­tec­tion dog work­ing in Syd­ney, and his Aunty Sal is a nox­ious weed de­tec­tion dog work­ing in the Snowy Moun­tains Na­tional Park.

From just six weeks of age Ben be­gan his training in Syd­ney with renowned trainer and pest con­trol ex­pert, Shane Clarke.

Spe­cial­is­ing in de­tect­ing ter­mites, he can find the de­struc­tive pest hid­den be­hind walls, emerg­ing from cracks or joints in con­crete, in trees, the gar­den, or pretty much in any struc­ture.

Ben grad­u­ated with top of class hon­ours, leav­ing three sib­lings se­lected for training be­hind.

River­side Pest Man­age­ment owner Steve Butcher says Ben has proven more ac­cu­rate than con­ven­tional test­ing equip­ment.

Steve and wife Jess said Ben has been an in­vest­ment for their rapidly grow­ing busi­ness and they worked to­wards get­ting a ter­mite de­tec­tion dog for four years.

‘‘We re­searched ex­ten­sively and looked at all op­tions be­fore de­cid­ing on Ben,’’ Steve said.

‘‘He can help us de­tect ter­mites no other equip­ment avail­able can.’’

Steve has more than 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try, but is yet to have seen a worker like his four-legged com­pan­ion.

‘‘I’m blown away by how ac­cu­rate he is in pick­ing up ac­tiv­ity and he sur­prises me ev­ery day with what he finds.

‘‘He has de­tected ter­mite ac­tiv­ity that would have gone un­no­ticed with con­ven­tional test­ing equip­ment like ac­tive ter­mites in in­ac­ces­si­ble sub­floors, floor­ing un­der car­pet, en­try points un­der baths and through con­crete pa­tios.

‘‘Ben’s ex­per­tise is early de­tec­tion of ter­mites, of­ten be­fore they be­come vis­i­ble to the eye or con­ven­tional equip­ment to pick up, and is great at lo­cat­ing ter­mite nests.

‘‘Ben is also trained to in­di­cate on con­ducive con­di­tions such as wa­ter leaks, wood rot and de­cay, in the ab­sence of ter­mites.’’

Ben is the first of his kind work­ing in the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to Steve.

He said snif­fer dogs used for this pur­pose are mostly found in metropoli­tan ar­eas.

When Ben isn’t at work, Steve’s wife Jess said he is a lov­ing com­pan­ion for their two young girls — like any fam­ily dog.

River­side Pest Man­age­ment is in the process of training Ben’s half-sis­ter Alaska, to join the grow­ing team and share Ben’s busy work­load.

If you have a ter­mite prob­lem or want to be one of the first to have the most ac­cu­rate ter­mite in­spec­tion in the re­gion, call 0400 435 252.

Ben the snif­fer dog is part of the River­side Pest Man­age­ment fam­ily.

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