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Facilities management pest control expertise

Rentokil has decades of pest-control experience, servicing thousands of customers in many countries, using our specialist knowledge of multiple sectors. A large proportion of our customers are facility management businesses.

Each sector has specific requirements, such as compliance with auditing, standards, good manufacturing practices and legislative requirements. The impact of different pests also varies between sectors. For example stored product insects are the most costly for businesses handling food, and bed bugs are now a common recurring problem for the hotel sector.

Rentokil has detailed knowledge of the pest control needs of each sector from our unrivalled customer experience.

Below is a summary of the specialist needs of some of the main sectors for facility management businesses:

This shows why our sector expertise is important for providing the most effective solutions for pest control.

Offices and residential property

This sector includes offices, multi-occupancy residential units such as condominiums and multi-family housing, and educational facilities.

Property managers of FM companies need to maintain the quality of their properties to keep both the owners and the tenants happy. Continuous maintenance is essential to prevent pests from entering and any pest infestation must be dealt with quickly to prevent pest from spreading and their population increasing.

There are many potential sources of entry into a building due to the design and added to by structural defects. Pests such as rodents and cockroaches can spread quickly through ventilation shafts, piping, cableways and hidden spaces in buildings. They pose a risk to health by spreading diseases and contaminating food.

Main pests in offices and residences

The main pests affecting properties are:

  • Rodents: rodents cause physical damage from gnawing holes to gain access to and around buildings. They also gnaw electrical cables which can lead to shorting and fires. They pose a health risk as they are vectors for a wide range of bacteria, viruses and parasites and can trigger asthma from shedding fur and skin particles;
  • Birds: pigeons are the main pest, from roosting and nesting on buildings, damaging the structure with corrosive droppings, blocking drains with nesting material, disturbing tenants, fouling window ledges, balconies and pavements, spreading diseases and parasites;
  • Crawling insects: cockroaches, bed bugs, pigeon ticks, fleas, ants;
  • Stored product insects: food stored in offices, commercial kitchens, canteens, residential properties attracts pests such as cheese and flour mites, fruit flies, biscuit, larder and grain beetles;
  • Textile pests: clothes moth, fur beetles, carpet beetle;
  • Flying insects: wasps and bees can nest in pitched roofs and other parts of the building and grounds; houseflies and blowflies are attracted to food and organic waste, on your or a neighbouring property.

Potential impact of a pest infestation

A pest infestation can have a major impact on property management:

  • Complaints leading to rent reductions;
  • Contract termination;
  • Repair costs;
  • Compensation claims;
  • Revenue loss from unrented space;
  • Damaged reputation.


The healthcare environment requires a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness to prevent transmission of diseases and cross infection. Patients may already be in a highly vulnerable position due to their existing conditions and staff who have to look after patients or provide support services to the institution need to be protected also. In such a sensitive environment it is essential for Facilities Management companies to provide the appropriate expertise for healthcare institutions.

A wide range of pests, including cockroaches, rodents and flies can infest buildings and carry diseases to hygienic surfaces, and medical equipment such as wound dressings, catheters and syringes. Pests can carry a large number of pathogenic microorganisms, including SalmonellaNorovirusCryptosporidiumLeptospira.

Healthcare institutions are required by law to take appropriate measures to maintain hygiene and prevent pest infestations. This includes:

  • structural measures: avoid harbourage through design and construction and eliminate any harbourages;
  • logistics: food supply, waste management and laundry management should prevent pest infestation;
  • monitoring: carried out by a pest control expert to detect pest activity;
  • identification and planning to determine the species, assess the extent of the infestation, and set up a pest control strategy;
  • apply appropriate pest control measures and approved products;
  • document the measures taken and provide proof of action.

As with commercial food handling establishments, healthcare institutions are also required to comply with food safety legislation to prevent food poisoning, which includes:

  • Implementing HACCP principles to maintain food safety;
  • Implementing a pest control plan for prevention, detection and control of pests in food handling areas: delivery, storage, preparation and serving.

Main pests in the healthcare sector

  • Crawling insects: cockroaches and ants can inhabit kitchens, storerooms, toilets, laundries and boiler rooms, infesting anywhere food is available. Blood-feeding bed bugs are mainly brought into buildings by people and occur primarily patient areas and laundries. Fleas can be present anywhere, carried by pests and people. Pharaoh ants can infest wounds and dressings, crawling under bandages on patients. They can also chew into sealed packaging, compromising its sterility.
  • Flying insects: House flies and bluebottles are attracted to food, which will be present in the kitchens, patient rooms and waste disposal areas. Outdoor areas such as café seating areas attract flies and wasps. The high flow of people and goods into hospitals means doors can be open for long periods, letting flying insects inside buildings.
  • Rodents: rats and mice are attracted to food and safe harbourage near food supplies. They can enter buildings through numerous access points in buildings, including gaps around external doors, doors left open, cracks and holes in walls, and pipe and cable entry points. The surrounding grounds and external areas of cafes will attract rodents if not kept clear of food waste and spills.
  • Stored product insects and textile pests: food supplies attract insects and mites, including cheese, flour and warehouse moths, and biscuit and flour beetles. Textiles, woollen products, and books including patients’ personal belongings can attract insects and mites, such as clothes and fur moths, carpet beetles and fur beetles.
  • Birds: pigeons and other birds carry a number of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites including pigeon ticks, fleas, bird mites and bed bugs. Parasites also infest bird nesting material and will travel to seek new hosts, including humans, when their main hosts are not present — such as after control measures have been implemented. Bird droppings are a health hazard and an eyesore, in addition to causing building maintenance problems due to their corrosive nature.

Potential impact of a pest infestation in the healthcare sector

  • Contamination of medical equipment and sensitive surfaces;
  • Infections caused by microorganisms carried by pests;
  • Patient complaints;
  • Poor ratings by inspectors;
  • Penalties imposed by medical regulators;
  • Litigation due to breach of clinical, and food safety regulations;
  • Costs of eliminating pests, especially if the infestation has become established;
  • Damage to reputation of the Facility Management company and client, leading to fewer patient referrals, loss of income and difficulty in staff recruitment.

Food processing

Food processing plants can provide ideal harbourage for pests, by providing food, water, shelter, warmth and safety from predators.

Pests can contaminate food ingredients at all points along the supply chain, from farm to factory, with a wide range of disease-causing microorganisms that can infect both staff and consumers.

Pests can also cause physical contamination of food, surfaces and equipment from droppings, shed fur, body parts and nesting material.

Along with the health risks and unsightly visible particles, contamination can alter the physical properties of ingredients and cause costly disruption of machinery in production lines.

Food safety legislation worldwide requires food processing businesses to take adequate measures to maintain hygiene at all points of operations, from supplies and delivery, to raw ingredient storage, processing, packaging, finished product storage and transport. This includes implementing suitable pest control measures and documentation to prove this has been done.

Facility management companies need to provide services that comply with the specific legal requirements of food handling businesses. Food processors have to comply with legislation and regulations including food safety law, HACCP practices, biocide regulations, chemicals legislation etc. This requires a professional partner that understands all the best practice, legal and regulatory requirements for pest control.

Main pests in food processing plants

  • Stored product insects: these include beetles, weevils, moths and mites. They constitute the pest category that causes the greatest financial losses to food processing companies, according to a survey of 1000 companies commissioned by Rentokil. Conventional pesticides cannot be used to treat food products, therefore specialist treatment is required, including heat treatment and fumigation of bulk commodities and containers.
  • Flying insects: flies are the pest most likely to be encountered in a food processing factory. As carriers of a wide range of diseases, effective control is critical for the safety of food products and staff. High performance devices are essential for control in critical areas to prevent contamination from debris and to provide high catch rates.
  • Cockroaches and other crawling insects: these are attracted by the food, warmth and places for shelter found in food processing plants. It is important to implement prevention measures as they can quickly spread and grow in number. When an infestation has occurred, early detection is required to prevent escalation of costs for eradication measure.
  • Rodents: rats and mice are a risk for food processing plants, from contamination of ingredients, surfaces, packaging and finished products. Areas around the plant can provide harbourage and waste stored badly outside the building is an attractive food source that can encourage infestations. Rodents also can damage wiring and the building infrastructure. Rentokil can provide a range of monitoring and treatment methods suitable for use in a food handling environment.
  • Birds: bird-borne diseases and parasites along with physical contaminants such as feathers and nesting material are a threat to food processing operations. Sparrows and pigeons can roost on and near buildings and gain entry in search of food and shelter. A range of bird deterrents and control measures are needed to prevent roosting, nesting and gaining access to food stores. Bird control measures also have to comply with wildlife legislation.

Potential impact of a pest infestation in food processing plants

  • Damaged goods and loss of production;
  • Lost sales due to production loss;
  • Product recalls;
  • Low audit score;
  • Damage to brands and reputation of the Facility Management company and clients, leading to lost orders and sales;
  • Prosecution for failure to comply with food safety law.


Hotels, restaurants and other businesses serving food to customers have to comply with strict food safety legislation and regulations and be able to show that their food handling processes are safe, including following HACCP practices. Stringent safety practices are essential as serving freshly prepared food to customers presents a higher risk of contamination.

Pest control requirements related to food handling include:

  • Building design and maintenance to prevent access by pests;
  • Suitable storage of ingredients and prepared foods;
  • Implementation of hygiene measures to prevent contamination of products and food spills that attract pests;
  • Storing waste away from food preparation areas and in pest-proof containers.

Main pests in the hospitality sector

  • Crawling insects: cockroaches are one of the worst pests in kitchens, food storage areas, counters and bars. They are able to hide in small spaces in the building structure, furniture and equipment and can feed on small scraps of food and spills. Ants can enter buildings through the tiniest cracks and access food. In hotels bed bugs are often the most difficult pest to control, carried in by guests, employees, contractors, in laundry and crawling from neighbouring properties. They can infest hotel rooms and quickly spread to neighbouring rooms — on the same floor and above and below.
  • Flying insects: As in food processing plants, effective control of flies is critical for the safety of food products and to prevent the spread of diseases to the public and staff. High performance devices are essential for control in critical areas to prevent contamination from debris and to provide high catch rates.
  • Rodents: rodents are a threat in food handling, storage, serving areas and garbage areas. They can take advantage of structural weak points in a building to gain entry, such as cracks and holes in walls, gaps under doors. Rodent control in customer areas needs to take account of guest perceptions.
  • Stored product insects and textile pests: various species of beetles, weevils, moths and mites can infest food stored in hotels and restaurants, including flour and other cereal products, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, spices, powdered milk, tea and preserved meats. Monitoring and control systems can protect stocks in storage from damage. These include pheromone traps and fumigation.
  • Birds: bird fouling and nuisance behaviour can affect guest perceptions of hotels and restaurants. They also carry diseases that can be transmitted to guests and staff through contaminated surfaces and food, and parasites that can infest buildings.

See more information on pest control for the hospitality sector.

What could happen?

  • Damage to brands and reputation of the Facility Management company and clients;
  • Loss of customer;
  • Illness of customers and staff;
  • Compensation claims from customers;
  • Loss of bookings for rooms, meals and events, causing loss of revenue;
  • Fines, litigation or closure due to breach of food safety or health and safety regulations.


Stringent hygiene requirements in the pharmaceutical industry mean there must be zero tolerance to pests to prevent microbiological and physical contamination of ingredients, equipment, products and packaging.

Progressively stricter clinical requirements, good manufacturing practices and legislation governing manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products are putting greater pressure on pharmaceutical companies.

The source of any failings has to be identified, hygiene practices verified and batch tracking and documentation have to be maintained according to complex legal requirements.

An Integrated Pest Management programme can put in place the most appropriate practices for monitoring, preventing and controlling pest infestations according to a customer’s specific requirements.

Main pests in the pharmaceutical sector

  • Flying insects: insects can carry a large number of pathogenic microorganisms and are a threat to sensitive areas of a pharmaceutical production plant. They can be controlled using a range of devices and products designed for use in sensitive environments.
  • Crawling insects: cockroaches are the main type of crawling insect that infest facilities. They cause particular problems because of the diseases they carry, their ability to hide in small places, their varied diet and rapid reproduction.
  • Rodents: rats and mice pose a serious risk to pharmaceutical facilities. They can cause damage to buildings, equipment and products, and spread a wide range of pathogens in a highly sensitive production environment. Any rodents present must be controlled using according to acceptable practices and legislation related to pharmaceutical production.
  • Birds: as with other buildings, birds can cause physical external damage by dislodging roofing material and blocking guttering with nests and feathers. Their droppings foul buildings, vehicles, paved areas and building entrances. Inside buildings, bird droppings, nesting material and feathers can contaminate surfaces, equipment and products.
  • Stored product insects: many species of beetles, weevils, moths and mites can infest edible pharmaceutical ingredients such as starches, sugars and herbal products used to extract medically active compounds. Introduced microorganisms can make ingredients unfit for use and alter physical and chemical properties, resulting in loss of production.

For more detailed information see Top Pests in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Possible impact of a pest infestation

  • Damage to brands and reputation of the Facility Management company and clients;
  • Cost of replacing raw materials and finished products;
  • Cost of cleaning and sanitation of sterile areas;
  • Production downtime;
  • Loss of orders;
  • Loss of customers;
  • Inability to fulfil orders;
  • Claims for compensation;
  • Damage to electrical wiring, equipment and building structure;
  • Litigation for breach of hygiene and safety laws.


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