MRO Magazine

Pest Infestations Cost US Businesses $6.8 Billion In Operating Costs

September 15, 2015
By Business Wire News


Rentokil North America, part of Rentokil Initial plc, a global leader in pest control in over 60 countries worldwide, today released research highlighting the threats posed by pests to businesses in the U.S. The report, commissioned by Rentokil Initial, and produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), found that U.S. businesses incurred an increase of $6.8 billion in their operating costs in 2014 as a direct result of pest infestations on business premises, and a loss of revenue of $13.2 billion.

The report, conducted by research agency Opinion Matters, was based on responses from over 200 decision makers from companies across the U.S. The study found that a staggering 90 percent of all businesses surveyed suffered at least one pest infestation in the past five years. With a pest infestation occurring on average just under three (2.8) times over that period, this equates to one infestation every 20 months.

Twenty-five percent of those businesses suffering a pest infestation incurred increased maintenance and repair costs, while between 10 percent and 18 percent reported replacement costs due to damaged equipment, materials or finished goods. Fewer than one in four companies (24 percent) were able to report no increase in business costs. Additionally, 36 percent of respondents indicated that the infestation had a negative impact on staff morale.

While the study highlighted the wider economic ramifications, the research also revealed how the impact of pests on business operations extended beyond financial terms. U.S. businesses stated key concerns relating to pest infestation also include the loss of reputation (65 percent) and risk of compensation claims and fines (66 percent).

Pests don’t discriminate, so any size or type of business operating worldwide can be vulnerable and become prone to pests, experiencing damaging—and costly—consequences, as this study indicates,” said Randolph Carter, vice president of marketing for Rentokil North America. “While an infestation may not cause the complete closure of a business, it certainly causes a host of disruptions, from maintenance and repair expense, to replacement of stock due to the contamination of raw materials and ingredients, and lowered staff morale. A structured approach to pest management is critical to avoiding these issues and reducing the likelihood of an infestation.”

Proactive Recommendations

In light of this study, businesses should put plans in place to suppress the risk of pest infestation. Rentokil North America recommends taking the following four steps as a proactive approach to pest management across any commercial environment:

  1. Exclusion—minimize opportunities for entry, blocking gaps, proofing doors, windows and open areas, in order to halt entry into critical business areas.
  2. Restriction—pest knowledge and training for staff in order to limit access to food and areas attractive to pests within businesses.
  3. Destruction—includes innovative, effective solutions to eradicate existing infestations effectively and efficiently by professionally trained pest control technicians.
  4. Monitoring—ensure regular checks for early warning signs of pest activity to enable a quick reaction to signs of activity, so that the impact on the business is kept to a minimum and halted as soon as possible.

About Rentokil – North America

Rentokil – North America is part of Rentokil Initial plc, one of the world’s largest and most diverse business service companies, operating in 69 countries worldwide. J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control (, Western Exterminator (, and Presto-X Pest Control ( are all part of the Rentokil family of pest control companies in North America. They provide commercial and residential pest control, bioremediation, bird control, vegetation management, bed bug services, wild-animal trapping and termite control from more than 200 local offices in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

About Rentokil Initial plc

Rentokil is a global leader in pest control, bringing expert, reliable and professional advice to commercial and residential customers in over 60 countries worldwide. Over 12,000 qualified technicians across local Rentokil teams respond quickly and effectively to deal with the full range of pest control issues on behalf of customers – so they can continue with their daily lives. Rentokil works constantly on introducing innovations and effective solutions for pest control, with specific emphasis placed on health, safety and protection of the environment.

Notes to Editors

  • Primary research, conducted by research agency, Opinion Matters, was based on responses from business decision makers in each of the following territories to conclude the total costs of pest control for each sector of the economy: UK (sample: 212), France (sample: 211), Italy (sample: 210), the USA (sample: 210) and Australia (sample: 210)
  • The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) used data from national statistical offices, along with the primary research to generate monetary estimates of the gross impacts of pest infestation on businesses.
  • Figures reported in this press release were converted from pound sterling (as reported in the research) into USD using the average 2014 Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate.

Rentokil Initial
Randolph Carter
Vice President Marketing – North America
610-372-9700 x29921
Sterling Kilgore
Joe Scolaro
Senior Account Executive
630-964-8500 x224