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Pests in Australia: The hidden threat to businesses and consumers

Pests are not just creepy crawly nuisances! A recent independent research study conducted by Lonergan on behalf of Rentokil in July 2023 reveals that pests are causing significant concerns for both consumers and businesses across Australia. From concerns about hygiene to the impact on brand reputation, the findings shed light on the pervasive issue of pests and the importance of effective pest control. Let's dive into the key takeaways from this eye-opening research.

Consumer Concerns

The research shows that an overwhelming 78% of Aussies are increasingly concerned about pests, particularly about finding them in their food or at their workplace. This isn't just a passing worry; it's a growing concern that affects where consumers shop and dine.

Pests are indeed a deal breaker for most Australians

Over half (51%) admitted they would never return to a café or restaurant after spotting a creepy crawly. In addition, 32% of respondents revealed that they'd immediately left a building after spotting a pest. This level of intolerance highlights the importance of pest control for businesses in maintaining their customer base.

Pests go beyond being unsightly; they pose significant health and safety concerns. More than half (56%) of Australians expressed concerns about hygiene standards after spotting a pest. This underscores the need for businesses to not only eliminate pests but also maintain high cleanliness and safety standards.

Impact on Businesses

Pests are not just a concern for consumers and are also wreaking havoc on the business landscape. A staggering 75% of businesses reported disruption from pest activity, costing them either loss of revenue, reputational damage, or damaged produce. This damage isn't just financial; it can be detrimental to a business's reputation and long-term success.

The impact on the food industry is particularly pronounced

Approximately half of the food businesses surveyed had to delay production (57%) or stop operations (50%) due to pest infestations. These closures and delays result in financial losses and damage a business's reputation and brand.

Pest Sightings and Customer Behaviour

The research revealed that pest sightings have a direct impact on customer behaviour. Half of Australians would never return to a business or make a repeat purchase if they found pests in packaged food or drink products (50%) or in the food at a café or restaurant (51%). This customer churn can be devastating for businesses.

Negative word of mouth and social media are also powerful tools that can be wielded against businesses with pest issues. A quarter (25%) of businesses that had a pest infestation found it had a negative impact on their brand reputation. Food businesses are particularly vulnerable, with 41% experiencing negative impacts on their reputation.

Pests are causing significant and costly damage to Australian businesses. Almost a third (32%) of Australian businesses have experienced damage from pests in the last three years. Food businesses, in particular, are hard hit, with 52% reporting damage.

Consumer and Business Alignment

Interestingly, consumers and businesses are aligned when it comes to engaging pest control services. Both prioritise effectiveness as the most important factor when choosing a pest control service. Cost and non-toxic pest control also rank highly, indicating the need for affordable and environmentally friendly solutions.

In conclusion, the research conducted by Lonergan on behalf of Rentokil in July 2023 paints a clear picture of the pest problem in Australia and its far-reaching consequences. From consumer concerns to business closures and reputation damage, pests are a challenge that cannot be ignored. Effective pest control is not just an option; it's necessary for businesses looking to thrive in today's competitive landscape and consumers seeking peace of mind in their daily lives.

Worried about pests in your home or business?

Rentokil Pest Control provides a wide range of tailored pest solutions that can help you protect both your home and your business. If you have or suspect a pest problem or would like to know more about protecting your home or business from pests, contact us today.

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