Business impact of pests

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Business impact of pests

Pests can have a devastating impact on businesses in all types of industry. A pest infestation can cause long-term harm to brand reputation, increased operating costs and loss of revenue.

Discover more about the true cost of pests and learn how proactive pest control provided by a trusted and expert partner can protect businesses and minimise the risk of pest infestations.

Rentokil pest research

Rentokil commissioned independent research agency Opinion Matters and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) to identify key trends impacting businesses and pest control.

The survey of decision-makers in 1,000 businesses across five countries (United States, Australia, UK, France and Italy in 2014) explores the true business impact of pest infestations.

Insights from the survey are available to read in two reports, one for businesses handling food, such as food retailers and food processors, and another report for organisations that do not handle food, like offices.

Business pest facts

Rentokil research confirms that pest controllers today need to do more than just eliminate pests, and a proactive approach to pest control can significantly reduce business disruption.

  • Pest infestations resulted in an estimated increase of £5.8billion in operating costs across countries surveyed
  • Revenues declined by an estimated £11.8billion* due to pest incidences
  • Rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs and stored product insects (SPIs), like weevils and beetles, are consistently recognised as being most common pests in the developed world
  • Business costs are one of the biggest negative impacts suffered due to pest infestations, due far more to negative impact on staff morale and contamination of raw materials rather than loss of reputation
  • France and the UK are the least proactive on pest control, suffering the most days disrupted due to pest infestation

Read the reports

The reports confirm that all pest control solutions must be tailored to different environments and individual business needs.

Businesses need pest control experts, who not only provide pest control and management services, but also advice on changes in relevant legislation and auditing. 

Businesses handling food report

The report confirms that businesses handling food must have a mind-set of zero tolerance towards pest activity. In facilities handling food, infestations can occur in multiple areas.

70% of public facing food businesses are concerned about loss of reputation

Whilst loss of reputation might be higher amongst public-facing food businesses, food manufacturing facilities cite greater concerns around the contamination of raw materials leading to high replacement costs.

As always, the scale of the impact on operations will depend on how early an infestation is identified and how quickly it is resolved.

For example, accurate record-keeping, through solutions like myRentokil, are essential for legislated businesses in demonstrating that pest control is managed effectively.

How Rentokil supports food processors

Learn more about our innovative solutions for the food processing industry

Businesses not handling food report

For businesses that are not manufacturing, distributing or selling food, the risk of a pest infestation can seem remote.

15% of businesses lost revenue due to loss of customer trust

The report highlights that even when food is not a core part of the business, a pest infestation can significantly impact employees, working patterns and productivity.

It is easy to assume an office building faces very low risk, until you consider the fabric of the building and everyday behaviours by people, who inhabit and work in the building. For example:

  • Colleagues might store and eat food on site, which could attract pests. Many office buildings also have a canteen on site, which faces a pest risk, if not properly managed
  • The building design of modern office spaces, with its vast network of covered ducts, underfloor cabling and over-ceiling tunnels are also attractive to pests because they are warm and undisturbed areas, enabling easy movement around an entire building