Sitting here at my desk, I’m looking at my pencil holder. In it is an old promotional item from years ago. It is a mechanical pencil imprinted on the barrel with the word VICANE. It’s the fumigant used in most termite fumigations these days. On the eraser end is a hollow clear plastic cap filled with drywood termite pellets. I thought “how charming”. I used that pencil to fill out my inspection sheets and it also served as an educational prop to educate my clients on identifying drywood termites by their droppings.
After completing an inspection one day, and well into my spiel, this particular person exclaimed “AHA!!!”. Pointing at my pencil he proceeded to tell me he knew that termite inspectors were not above sprinkling termite pellets around the premises to facilitate a sale and in my hand was the evidence!! Now, I’ve heard of some disreputable guys using a salt shaker with pellets in it, but it never occurred to me I would be accused of subterfuge using a pencil! Don’t remember if I made that sale or not, but that pencil went straight into my pencil holder and has only come out once; during the writing of this article. Probably worth a little money by now, its an antique! It is now in its proper location.