Our Recent PR – A Clarification And An Apology

Some debate around a story doing the rounds over last couple of weeks, when Rentokil Pest Control‘s PR Agency released numbers calculated on a hypothetical worst case scenario, which were presented as “average” or “typical”.

I thought it might be helpful to explain how we arrived at the numbers and where things went so wrong.

We had tested our new Entotherm technology on a bus and various buildings during the last three years of its development. So, when asked for a worst case scenario situation, we based our hypothesis on:

  • A bus, or anything else, being left by itself in an isolated place
  • With no external factors to affect the mortality rate (so the population would be left unchecked)
  • Then we assumed that there is a perfect male to female ratio that allows optimal breeding numbers
  • That the environment would be controlled to a constant temperature, with no extremes
  • Finally, there would be a plentiful food supply to support the numbers of insects

On the above totally theoretical basis it’s possible that very high numbers of cockroaches and bed bugs/fleas could survive, although it’s clearly a worst case scenario.

Now, obviously real life is not a hypothetical model. There are loads of contributing factors that would affect any insect infestation. For example regular cleaning, people unwittingly stepping on insects and, as in real life, there is not a perfect male to female ratio! All of which means that, in our experience, it is very rare to find heavily infested buses, trains or other forms of transport in the UK. Standards will vary around the world but UK standards are very high.

The point of the story was about a new process we launched – and are very excited about – to combat bed bugs and cockroaches.

We’re really sorry that the numbers that appeared in the media were wrong and misleading and we’ve put in place a number of measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

If you are interested, the original press release can be viewed here.

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