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stored product insects

Stored product insects: The world’s most expensive pests


Stored product insects (SPIs), are a physical risk to businesses which operate within the food industry such as food processors companies. They can also be found amongst the textile industry.

SPIs go by many different names. They are often referred to as stored product pests, pantry pests, pantry insects, or food pests to name a few.

They are regarded as the most expensive pests, a single infestation from a stored product pest can result in an increased expenditure for businesses.

Stored product pests can cost the average business around $35,941 each year, over double the cost of a typical pest infestation.

Why are stored product pests the most expensive pests?

Stored product pests come in both the crawling and flying variety of insects. They can often be found infesting food ingredients during the deliveries or in raw food ingredients when stored for a long time. Items such as cereals, nuts, spices and preserved meats, to name a few, are at particular risk.

SPIs can also cause damages to packaging, making some food products susceptible to accumulating food-borne diseases, whilst also reducing their shelf life.

A  study conducted by Rentokil explored the impact pests have on a business. Through our findings, it was discovered that 73% of all the businesses we surveyed were concerned by revenue losses caused by stored product insects.

Stored product pests are regarded as the world’s most expensive pests. 60% of businesses which have suffered from a stored product pest infestation reported an annual revenue loss between 1 and 9%.

Nearly half of the businesses we surveyed (45% to be exact) that accumulated a stored product insect problem reported replacement costs for contaminated raw ingredients such as flour, rice or wheat. Similarly, 10% of businesses within the food processing industry reported costs from stored product pests in the form of fines or closures.

How to prevent stored product insects

The most effective solutions for businesses to protect themselves from stored product insects, and other pests, is to implement an integrated pest management programme.

Rentokil’s integrated pest management approach combines four core principles:

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

Our integrated pest management programmes are tailored to an individual company’s business needs. This will enable us to support compliance with food safety regulations, and help safeguard your reputation and profits.

Stored product insects

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Jack Lyons

I joined the Marketing and Innovation team at Rentokil in 2015, and my mind has quickly become accustomed to the weird and wonderful world of pests. Outside of work my main hobby is music, being a huge fan of bands such as Queen and Led Zeppelin as well as being an avid drummer.

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