Rentokil was appointed by the Rio Organising Committee to undertake pest control and mosquito control services for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Starting ahead of the Games in May 2016, we provided an intensive range of preventative pest control services in the Athletes’ Village, Operating Village, three media villages, arenas, stadiums and the Olympic Parks, including hospitality areas. The local environment provided a complex mix of habitats that were at risk from pest infestation, including ground marshes, areas of environmental protection, dense vegetation, rivers, lakes and waterfalls.
A core team of 20 technicians were given technical and operational training to work under the specific procedures of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. They provided a full range of services to prevent infestations of rodents, flies, insects, birds and mosquitoes and was available 24/7 to undertake preventive and corrective services as required, particularly in priority areas such as the Athletes’ Village.
Ahead of the Games, there was much concern about the spread of the Zika virus in Brazil, which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The sites had ideal conditions for mosquito larva development — large areas of open water, poor sanitation in parts of Rio and high temperatures.
Rentokil delivered the most extensive mosquito control programme ever undertaken for an event of this scale. We developed an innovative programme to control mosquitoes for the Games, MIRA 360°, and introduced new larva control technology, ultrasonic pulses, to eradicate larvae in open water.
In August 2016 the WHO Zika Committee congratulated Brazil on its successful application of appropriate public health measures during the Olympic Games. It also confirmed that there had been no reports of confirmed cases of Zika virus infection among people who attended the Games, demonstrating the outstanding success of our mosquito control measures in Rio.