Timeline of Rentokil history

The need for the provision of effective pest control has always been constant and present.

Since the start of the Rentokil Pest Control business in the 1920s we have experienced this need first hand. Through the decades, we developed and grew our operations and expertise to match our customers’ demands every step of the way.

We kept up-to-date with emerging technologies, the birth of the internet and the demand for big data so that today we are able to offer our customers unique solutions like Connect and myRentokil, helping to protect businesses and homeowners.

Our innovation and product development programme is busier than ever to make sure we continue to provide our customers with the most effective pest control solutions and that they have the greatest protection from pests.

  • 2017

    April

    Rentokil Pest Control is awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade, recognising the business's outstanding achievements in international trade. The Queen's Award is the UK's highest accolade for business success and is awarded for five years.

    International pest control revenues increased by 73% between 2010 and 2015. In 2016 total revenues (including UK) increased by 25.9%.

  • 2017

    March

    Rentokil Initial, the parent company of Rentokil, returned to the FTSE 100 on 20 March, after an absence of eight years, making position No 96 with a market capitalisation of £4.4bn.


    Launch of Lumnia, a new generation of energy-efficient LED fly killers designed to attract, kill and encapsulate insects hygienically, eliminating the risk of contamination in hygiene-critical areas. Find out more about Lumnia.

    February

    Rentokil becomes the leading pest control company in India. Rentokil Initial enters into an agreement to form a joint venture with PCI Pest Control Pvt Ltd and to acquire a 57% stake in the new joint venture. This will have around 250 locations and employ about 6,900 people.


    January

    Rentokil launches RapidPro Mouse Riddance, a new rodenticide aimed to tackle infestations of rodenticide-resistant mice. It combines a newly formulated, faster-acting rodenticide with a fat base that rodents find irresistible.

  • 2016

    Rentokil Initial voted 25th in the list of Britain’s Most Admired Companies and second in the Business Support Services sector. Rentokil Initial was also the highest riser in 2016, rising 133 places. (Source: Management Today)


    CDC awards Rentokil-Steritech two-year contract to fight Zika. 


    Rentokil, Google and PA Consulting Group agree to develop "next generation" pest control services based on Google's Cloud Platform and PA's agile technology. The agreement aims to deliver and integrate the power of connected sensor technology, the Internet of Things, big data, predictive analytics and Cloud technology to provide innovative new services for customers. 


    Rentokil delivered a full pest control service, including mosquito control, to the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
     

  • 2015

    PestConnect trialled in the Netherlands. 


    Acquisition of leading US pest control company Steritech for $425 million and Anderson Pest Solutions for $21m brings US revenues to $800m. 

    The company is renamed Rentokil Steritech.

  • 2014

    World Cup in Brazil. Rentokil kept the main football stadium in Curitiba, training facilities, team hotels and transport hubs free of pests. 


    PestConnect launched. The wireless PestConnect system actively detects, captures or kills rodents humanely using integrated sensor technology that provides continuous 24/7 monitoring and protection.

  • 2012

    A new Global Science Centre was established in Horsham to undertake research, development and regulatory work for Pest Control. 


    Rentokil expanded to new territories with acquisitions in Turkey, Brazil, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Chile. In North America, the acquisition of Western Exterminator made Rentokil one of the largest players in the US pest control market. 


    Rentokil became one of the largest users of Google Apps, Hangouts and G+ social media.

  • 2009

    Adoption of Google Apps to provide single communications system to 35,000 staff.

  • 2008

    Rentokil was selected as the preferred supplier of pest control services and products to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

  • 1996

    Official supplier to the Atlanta Olympic Games for pest control and landscape services. 


    Takeover of BET for £2.2 billion one of the largest takeovers in British corporate history and creating the world’s leading business services company with annual turnover over £3 billion and 150,000 employees. The new company was called Rentokil Initial.

  • 1994

    Rentokil treated the soil around the new Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, to keep what was then the world's tallest building free of termites. 


    Rentokil named Britain's most admired company by Management Today

  • 1992

    Launch of Mouse Alert, a mouse trap with wireless communications.

  • 1986

    Rentokil’s Director of Public Relations, Peter Bateman, immediate past President of the BPCA, received an award from the Institute of Public Relations for his part in the Hospitals Can Damage Your Health campaign that removed Crown immunity from hospitals and forced them to improve hygiene.

  • 1985

    Rentokil was commissioned by Norway’s Cultural Heritage Department to treat three woden stave churches dating from the 12th century to eradicate longhorn beetle. One of the churches, Urnes Stave Church, is a UNESCO world heritage site 1986

  • 1983

    Rentokil receives Queen’s Award to Industry for Technological Achievement for developing a safe process for manufacturing arsenic-based timber treatment fluid.

  • 1982/3

    Clive Thompson became a Director in 1982 then took over as CEO in 1983. Over 20 years he oversaw 400 acquisitions and grew the company from £100m sales and employing about 5000 people to nearly £3 billion sales and employing 100,000 people.

  • 1977

    Group turnover reaches £50m 


    Rentokil sets up the Video Unit, which produced around 20 programmes a year on topics such as technical training, pest biology and behaviour, health and safety, sales techniques, customer relationship management and public speaking.

  • 1974

    A major move into the US with two US acquisitions, wood preserving company TaCo and pest control business Josephsons.

  • 1973

    Termite treatment to the foundations of the Sydney Opera House.

  • 1970

    Acquisition of two hygiene companies, Thames Service and Hygiene Services (Scotland).

  • 1969

    Rentokil Group Ltd was listed on the London Stock Exchange with one of the largest new issues of shares the city had seen. 


    A new larger laboratory block opened at Felcourt.

  • 1966

    Rentokil was awarded a contract to repel birds at Buckingham Palace and pest control at the newly opened Post Office Tower (BT Tower). 


    Contract from the World Health Organization in Geneva to eradicate its offices of cockroaches led to the opening of a Swiss office.

  • 1965

    Rentokil signed a 10-year contract with the City Fathers of German town Hamelin — the first since a certain Pied Piper had been called in 1284!

  • 1960s

    The company expanded across Asia, Africa and Europe.

  • 1960

    On 1 December 1960 British Ratin Company Ltd changed its name to Rentokil Group Ltd.

  • 1957

    By the mid 1950's, the synergies between British Ratin and Rentokil had become obvious. In 1957 British Ratin acquired Rentokil Ltd and its service arm, Woodworm and Dry Rot Control Ltd. Bessie Eades who had run the company for 32 years left the company.

  • 1952

    New R&D laboratory opened at Felcourt headquarters.

  • 1949

    British Ratin Head offices moved to Felcourt Manor near East Grinstead.

  • 1946

    Shortly after WW2, Reykjavik was overrun with rats. Out of 4858 City properties, 3905 were infested with brown rats and the docks were teaming with black rats. The town council hired British Ratin to exterminate the rats. 

    The Mayor of Reykjavik wrote to express his appreciation for the work that was not only successful, but that also they "received no complaints of accident or illness among people or pets".

  • 1928

    Bessie Eades established a new company, Rentokil (Sales) Ltd, selling the timber fluid and a beetle powder for “kitchen and bakehouse pests”.

  • 1927

    Formation of British Ratin Company Ltd on 1 October 1927.

  • 1925

    Harold Maxwell-Lefroy died from poisoning while conducting pesticide experiments at his lab in Imperial College. Bessie Eades bought the rights to the timber treatment fluid from his wife and continued running the business.

  • 1924

    Professor Maxwell-Lefroy established a company called Disinfectants and General Products Limited. He wanted to call his timber treatment fluid Entokil — a combination of the Greek word 'entomon' meaning insect and the English word 'kill'. The Board of Trade rejected this name so he changed it to Rentokil and this was registered as a trademark. He also recruited Bessie Eades as an assistant to run the business.