Rentokil says pests cost $1.7 billion in lost revenue

Rentokil has released its own research into the threats and impacts of pests to businesses across Australia.

The report found that during 2014, Australian businesses affected by pest infestations also experienced a significant increase in their operating costs, collectively spending $796 million, while revenues declined by $1.7 billion. 

On average, an incident of pest infestation in Australian business lasted for just under three weeks. Food-based businesses were particularly vulnerable with 12 per cent of companies within this industry reporting losing more than 10 working days as a result of pest infestation. 

A significant 37 per cent of respondents experienced three incidents or more over a five-year period, and on average one pest infestation occurs just over every two years.

The report also revealed adverse impacts on staff morale (over 30 per cent) was the main impact on business costs in Australia, as a direct result of pest infestation. In addition, 20 per cent of businesses reported damaged goods, and replacement, maintenance and repair costs.

Alain Moffroid, Rentokil Initial Managing Director, Pacific said pests do not discriminate.

“Any size business operating in any type of industry across the globe can be vulnerable. Our analysts attribute this to our own population growth, urbanisation and heightened mobility, all of which is making it easier for mammals, birds and insects to spread, find shelter, feed, and reproduce – often at speed. As each year passes, businesses can become more prone to pests and are experiencing damaging – and costly – consequences.”

“A business’ reputation, relationships with its customers, clients, suppliers and of course its employees are all at stake when a pest infestation occurs in the workplace. At Rentokil we see first-hand how a single pest infestation, however small, can encourage repeat occurrences – particularly if the original issue is not effectively handled from the outset. A structured approach is crucial in ensuring any potential infestation scenario is covered to reduce the likelihood of an infestation taking place.”

Other key research findings:

  • A massive 83 per cent of Australia businesses have experienced incidences of pest infestations over the last five years
  • Almost 50 per cent of pest infestations in Australian businesses lasted between 1-2 weeks
  • The most common pests that affected businesses were cockroaches (51 per cent mice (34 per cent Ants (27 per cent and rats (25 per cent)
  • Just under 30 per cent experienced brand loyalty damage and damage to reputation or customer trust due to pest infestations 

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