0808 273 1010 Get in touch Request a callback

Pest control for restaurants: is it mission impossible for pests?

It’s a daily problem for restaurants. Modern living conditions, urbanisation and changes in climate have made the spread of pests and pest-borne diseases a credible threat. But can a rat, fly and beetle take on an impossible mission by breaching the Rentokil defences to infiltrate a restaurant, causing maximum destruction for brand, income and reputation?

Restaurants have a responsibility for protecting their customers by preventing contamination of food and transmission of pest-borne diseases inside their premises. If they don’t, they will not only face steep costs to replace essential assets, but also a loss of reputation as well as litigation from public and regulatory authorities.

Which pests cause the most damage to restaurants?

Rentokil commissioned the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) to survey decision-makers in over 1,000 companies across five countries to understand the impacts of pest infestations. The results revealed the biggest pest threats to the food industry today.


The house fly and blowfly harbour more than 600 different bacteria between them. Out of all the common pests that affect businesses across the globe, flies are by far the most troublesome. On average, businesses across the globe spend $9,033 a year on controlling fly infestation, with the impact on a business ranging from staff absence to revenue and brand reputation.

Stored Product Insects

SPIs such as flour mites, beetles, weevils, and bakery moths are causing the most serious financial impact to the food industry. Our research revealed that 60% of businesses reported annual revenue losses. Even though they are more likely to infest products that have been opened, they can also chew through packaging material or crawl through its folds and seams. A costly dilemma for restaurant owners is that the contamination of food products leaves food unfit for human consumption and preparation.


Food-focused businesses lose an average of eight working days a year due to rat infestations, with most of the damage done to building fixtures and electrical equipment. They also cause loss of stock by eating food items and damaging restaurant apparatus. Rodents can breed expeditiously, and because they’re naturally suspicious of new objects placed in their environment, they are slow to enter bait stations and take bait.

The challenge, if they choose to accept it

These three pests will have to carry out a highly challenging mission if they wish to enter a restaurant protected by Rentokil’s innovative products. With Rentokil offering a range of professional pest-control solutions, not to mention invaluable expertise from decades of experience, a restaurant can now be heavily shielded and carry enough protection to defend a large-scale assault.

Rentokil: a fly in the ointment

The World Health Organization says most types of fly can transmit up to 200 different pathogens. It only takes a matter of seconds for these pathogens to transfer to food or kitchen equipment, so the strategic placement of Insect Light traps (ILTs) with guidance from a pest-management expert is crucial.

Flies will have to avoid Lumnia, the commercial fly trap from Rentokil, designed to effectively attract, capture and encapsulate flies. Lumnia works by using high-attraction LED lamps to attract flies to the unit, providing an average energy saving of up to 70% compared to traditional insect light traps. Becoming trapped inside a Lumnia unit eliminates the risk of fly fragments falling outside, thereby reducing the risk of contamination.

IPM obstacles for SPIs

SPIs will have to overcome a robust integrated pest management system. With the help of Rentokil’s experts, the restaurant can raise staff awareness of the signs of SPI infiltration, such as webbing produced by the larvae of Warehouse and Mill moths as they feed and spread. Throwing contaminated batches away won’t eliminate the problem, so treating the source of the infestation and ensuring any eggs or larvae is also destroyed will be a top priority for Rentokil’s experts.

By combining four core principles, Rentokil’s integrated pest management (IPM) approach is an SPI’s biggest problem:

  1. Exclusion: Eliminating the opportunities for entry
  2. Restriction: Training staff in pest awareness to spot the early signs of infestations
  3. Destruction: Use innovative solutions to remove pests from premises
  4. Monitoring: Regular checks and monitoring devices to detect early warning signs of pest infestations

Rodents smell a rat with PestConnect

Rentokil’s digital pest management solutions are a rodent’s biggest challenge. It provides restaurants with 24/7 monitoring and control, supporting food safety, legislative and auditing requirements to ensure a restaurant is kept free from rodents.

When integrated pest management embraces digital technology we are able to open up an enhanced world of opportunity to stay one step ahead of pests – providing an unparalleled level of insight and control.

PestConnect is a network of connected devices that can detect, capture and humanely eliminate rodent pests with innovative and highly effective traps, bait stations and monitors. Using wireless technology, PestConnect works independently and discreetly without impacting a business.

Rodents will have little luck as they try to avoid activating traps that trigger immediate messages to alert a local technician to their activity. If a trap is activated, a technician will contact the restaurant and arrange a convenient time to visit, clear and reset units, while identifying potential new problems and offering preventative measures.

All pest activity detected by the units is also recorded and uploaded to the secure myRentokil customer portal – allowing restaurants to monitor, measure, record and report on pest activity more effectively than ever before with bespoke recommendations and customised reporting for audit and standards compliance.

Abort mission or mission accomplished?

The three pests have admitted defeat. They know they don’t stand a chance against Rentokil’s combination of expertise and innovative data-driven technology, which unlocks the potential for restaurants to stay one step ahead of pests with new levels of efficiency and control.

They have accepted that Rentokil’s tailored integrated pest management and discreet, effective solutions will support the dining experience and help ensure the highest levels of food safety – allowing diners to enjoy their restaurant experience for what it should be – great food and service.

It really is mission impossible. This blog will not self-destruct.

COVID-19 disinfection services

Rentokil’s disinfection solutions can help businesses deal with the effects of coronavirus.

  • Protects your business against infectious bacteria, viruses and disease.
  • Targeted disinfection solutions including ULV fogging and touchpoint cleaning.
  • A tailored service delivered in a safe, discreet and legally compliant manner.
Find out more

Related posts