The cost of pest infestation
In 2014, pest infestation cost Australian businesses $796 million, with a further revenue decline of $1.7 billion also attributed to unwanted creepy crawlies.
Research commissioned by pest control company Rentokil found that 83% of Australian businesses have experienced incidences of pest infestations over the last five years. On average, an incident of pest infestation in an Australian business lasted for just under three weeks. Food-based businesses were particularly vulnerable, with 12% of companies within this industry reporting losing more than 10 working days as a result of pest infestation. 37% of respondents experienced three incidents or more over a five-year period; on average one pest infestation occurs just over every two years.
The report also revealed adverse impacts on staff morale and 20% of businesses reported damaged goods and replacement, maintenance and repair costs.
The most common pests that affected businesses were cockroaches (51%), mice (34%), ants (27%) and rats (25%). Just under 30% of businesses reported experiencing brand loyalty damage and damage to reputation or customer trust due to pest infestations.
Rentokil recommends a four-pronged pest management approach:
- 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 for staff as well as removing pest access to food and harbourage in restricted areas.
- Destruction — eradicate existing infestations.
- Monitoring — check for early signs of pest activity.
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