Pest infestation can severely damage a business’s reputation and have devastating financial, operational, legal and health consequences.
All types of businesses – large and small – are potential targets for rodents, insects and birds looking for food and shelter.
Many companies have paid the price for poor commercial pest control measures, with resulting issues such as decreased revenue and substantial fines.
In this post, we’ll look at typical ways pests can damage a business – and what you need to do to minimise the problem.
Damage to reputation
Your business reputation is critical for customer loyalty, and can be tarnished as word gets around about a pest infestation.
If you run a restaurant, for example, and someone finds a cockroach floating in their soup, they’re going to tell family and friends about it.
Or if rats are sharing your office space, disgruntled employees will be quick to broadcast their concerns.
Any business that experiences a pest issue can quickly find its standing in the community damaged.
Even if you manage to get the situation under control, the reputational damage has been done and is hard to repair, particularly in the age of social media – news spreads fast on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor.
Pest infestation often means a drop in revenue and increased costs for businesses.
A research study published in 2015 on the overall impact of pest infestation on UK businesses revealed:
- A £573 million increase in operating costs.
- A drop of £1.2 billion in revenue.
Among businesses hardest hit were those in the non-public-facing food sector, including food manufacturers, processors and warehouses.
Disruption to business
Pest infestation can put businesses out of action, at least temporarily.
Within the space of a few months in 2012, health officials ordered the temporary closure of two London stores after discovering mice infestation at:
- A flagship Tesco outlet in top shopping and dining destination Covent Garden.
- A Sainsbury’s Local store in swanky Bayswater.
Pest infestation can result in prosecutions and hefty fines for companies, as these major businesses discovered after mice infestations:
- Leading health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett – fined more than £500,000 after mouse droppings were found in food at a branch in upmarket Knightsbridge in London.
- The Asda supermarket chain – fined £300,000 after dead mice and flies were discovered in a home delivery depot.
- Morrisons – fined £100,000 after food hygiene inspectors found its Enfield London supermarket was infested with mice.
Pests threaten the health and safety of staff and customers.
Many pests carry bacteria and diseases that can contaminate surfaces and food, posing serious health risks, including hantaviruses and salmonella from rodent, bird and cockroach urine and droppings.
Pests on your business premises can also jeopardise people’s safety. Insect pests like wasps, for instance, will sting if they feel threatened, and bird droppings can make surfaces slippery, in addition to the unsightly mess and awful, lingering odour.
Damage to property
Pests can do costly damage to property and even threaten the structural integrity of a building.
For example, rats and mice need to keep their constantly growing teeth in check so they gnaw on hard materials such as wood, concrete and metal, leaving a trail of damage in their wake.
They’ll chew through walls and skirting boards, beams, and fixtures and fittings, which then have to be repaired or replaced.
Rodents also chew through wiring, causing extensive damage to electrical equipment as well as posing a serious fire risk.
Carpenter ants pose another threat to property. They build nests and burrows in wood and this can cause significant structural damage unless they’re stopped.
How to stop pests damaging your business
Pests in business premises ruin reputations, spread disease, damage products, contaminate the workplace, and result in loss of business, prosecutions and fines.
It is not just food retail businesses that need to be constantly on their guard against pest infestation. In modern office buildings, for instance, pests are attracted to false floors and ceilings and internal ducts. Older buildings often present easy entrance points for pests.
The solution? Business pest control services tailored to your individual business and its environment, with effective eradication and management systems.
Custom pest control services for businesses
Pests Birds and Bugs Limited provides custom pest elimination, monitoring and prevention services for businesses across Hampshire and Dorset, using advanced methods.
The company is a member of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and all technicians are certified by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).
Contact us now for a fast response if your company is experiencing problems with pests and you want to avoid costly damage to your business.