Any size of business, in any industry can be vulnerable to pest problems as architects and engineers design buildings for people, not pests – yet pests don’t discriminate. They will make use of false floors, ceiling vents, cable passages or routing wires all of which can serve as ‘hidden highways’ for pests, (particularly mice) to access and spread through a building undetected.
A report produced by Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research) and commissioned by Rentokil reveals the threats posed by and impact of pests on British businesses. The research found that over 92 % of UK companies had suffered a pest problem over the past five years. Rodents were the greatest issue with 52% of businesses having suffered a mouse infestation, whilst 39% had had issues with rats. Insect infestation such as flies, cockroaches, ants and bed bugs also caused UK business a headache.
However, the business impact of a pest infestation goes beyond just financial terms. A businesses reputation, relationships with customers, clients, suppliers and its employees can all be affected. When an infestation occurs in a workplace, everything from productivity to employee morale can be damaged not to mention loss of stock and reputation.
David Cross, Head of Technical Training Academy, Rentokil Pest Control, comments: “Pests can have both a direct and indirect effect on a company’s finances. Dealing with a serious infestation will of course bring with it increased costs, but potentially more damaging and long-lasting are the effects it can have on a business’ reputation. In the digital age, one negative review or bad employee experience can potentially be seen or read by thousands of people, so it’s more important than ever to keep pests at bay”.
Integrated Pest Management Recommendations
A business should aim to suppress the risk of pest problems – so they do not reach the point of infestation in the first place. Rentokil uses the following four factors in an Integrated Pest Management approach across any commercial environment:
- Exclusion – eliminate opportunities for entry, blocking gaps, proofing doors, windows and open areas, in order to halt entry into critical business areas
- Restriction – Pest Awareness knowledge and training in order to help staff spot the signs of pest activity or entry at an early stage, as well as removing pest access to food and harbourage
- Destruction – includes innovative, effective solutions to eradicate existing infestations effectively and efficiently by professionally trained technicians
- Monitoring – ensure regular checks for early warning signs and use monitoring devices to show early signs of activity, enabling a quick reaction, so that the impact on the business is kept to a minimum and halted as soon as possible.
There are simple, practical steps that all businesses and workplaces can take to discourage pest activity, but in the event of a serious problem it’s always best to call in the professionals.
For more information, or to access the report visit: Business impact of Pests