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Why Pest Control is Essential to Your FM Strategy

Why Pest Control is Essential to Your FM Strategy
04 May 2022

Paul Blackhurst, Technical Academy Head at Rentokil Pest Control, explains the importance of keeping FMs up to date on pest management and why it should be an essential part of building maintenance.

Originally from Cheshire, Paul started his career within the food manufacturing sector in technical and quality assurance roles. 12 years ago, Paul moved from the food manufacturing sector into the world of pest control starting out as a technical manager for a small but national supplier which specialised in providing pest control solutions to the food manufacturing sector.  Paul remained in his role through a series of acquisitions with the final move being to Rentokil Pest Control where he joined the central technical team. Paul’s day-to-day responsibilities are to drive the training strategies within the Rentokil-Initial suite of businesses with his main focus being the management and delivery of the apprenticeship scheme.


"When looking at the number of commercial enquiries the business received from companies looking to deal with rats, mice and other rodents in January 2022, and comparing it with the same time period during lockdown 12 months earlier, there was a stark increase."


Pests Problems Soar Amid Office Workers Returning to Work


As the mercury rises and we look ahead to the summer months, we are likely to see a correlating increase in rats. An abundance of food and water in open spaces provides these rodents with the ideal feeding conditions to thrive, encouraging them to leave their place of winter shelter. For facilities managers, this may appear to be reassuring, however, warmer temperatures create the perfect breeding grounds for rats, and they must also be wary of house mice that squeeze through tight gaps in and around the office building, and continue to breed all year round.  It is therefore crucial for facilities managers to get one step ahead of an all-too-common pest problem.

Recent data released by Rentokil Pest Control revealed that businesses are facing more problems when it comes to pests. When looking at the number of commercial enquiries the business received from companies looking to deal with rats, mice and other rodents in January 2022, and comparing it with the same time period during lockdown 12 months earlier, there was a stark increase - 82 per cent year-on-year. While an increase in enquiries is to be expected as many businesses were closed down in January last year, such significant increases - including a staggering 91.4 per cent in Central London and the South East of England alone - suggests that rodents are returning to business premises in force.



Picture: a photograph of Paul Blackhurst. Image Credit: Rentokil


The Business Impacts of Pests


The return of these pests will pose a major challenge to facilities managers across the country, who are committed to providing a comfortable working environment where employees can flourish, feel secure and be productive. We have seen in a previous study conducted by Rentokil Pest Control the detrimental effects that pest infestations have on professional reputations.

The Business Impact of Pests surveyed over 1,000 decision-makers in non-food businesses (including offices), and found that pest infestations caused a fall in staff morale for 41 per cent of public-facing businesses, and 31 per cent in those that were not public-facing businesses. The report also cited loss in revenue and ongoing disruption to business operations taking more than two weeks as further consequences of pest infestations. In order to avoid such potentially damaging repercussions, facilities managers should have a pest prevention plan in place, alongside knowledge of how to eradicate the problem when it arises.


Summer Heat and Waste


As outdoor bins potentially become fuller quicker as more people spend time outside, and begin to smell under the heat of the sun, businesses might see evidence of rats tearing through bin bags in the search for an easy meal. Other indications of rat activity include nests, droppings, holes, gnawing and rub marks, which are most likely to be out of sight in areas where rats can live undisturbed. Facilities managers should therefore make sure that they inspect areas such as skirting boards, suspended ceilings, cabinets and even cardboard boxes. If any of these telltale signs are present, then pest control experts should be called in to swiftly deal with the problem before it gets out of hand.




The intricacies and uniqueness of each case highlights the importance of calling upon the skills of a local pest control technician to not only deal with the problem at hand, but also to ensure that pest infestation doesn’t become a recurring problem. Working in partnership with facilities managers, pest control technicians may offer solutions such as internal and external tamper-resistant bait stations, RADAR non-toxic mouse traps and Connect technology - all designed specifically to target rats and house mice. It is important to emphasise that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to pest management, and technicians will work to find a defence system specifically tailored to best fit each case.

Even when control has been achieved, ensuring protection measures continue to work is key, with ongoing monitoring, so that any new pest activity is quickly identified. Systems such as PestConnect provide 24/7 monitoring and control of rodent pests, which is ideal for keeping activity at bay when facilities managers are not onsite. If a device is triggered, a technician will be alerted and will deal with it effectively - giving facilities managers the peace of mind of around-the-clock protection. Using this technology can also unlock pest data insights for analysis and auditing, which help to give a deeper understanding of their behavioural patterns, and prevent further activity.

Facilities managers must ask themselves whether they are doing everything they can to keep one step ahead of rats and other rodents. Whether an infestation has recently occurred or they are simply looking to help prevent one in the first place, it is important to access expert help to gain a better understanding of the best approach to take.

Picture: a photograph of two people wearing Rentokil branded clothing. One person is writing in a notepad, and the other is holding a torch over a drain cover. Image Credit: Rentokil

Article written by Paul Blackhurst | Published 04 May 2022


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