Rentokil Initial, the world’s leading commercial pest control company, has announced it is set to transform the future of pest control for Australian businesses.
Rentokil Initial will introduce machine learning and AI automation to its pest monitoring units through the use of innovative camera technology to identify pest behaviours as they happen, helping to create solutions before pests become a bigger problem.
Pests cost the Australian economy billions each year1 and pose a huge risk for businesses, with recent research revealing that pests have cost two thirds (67%) of Australian business through loss of revenue, reputational damage or damaged produce.
Australian businesses are particularly vulnerable to the risk of pests, and due to extreme climates and fast changing weather conditions, protecting facilities can be an expensive and challenging exercise.
To improve effectiveness of pest control solutions, Rentokil Initial’s PestConnect devices which currently detect pest activity through sensors, will be upgraded and supported by inbuilt cameras. These cameras will recognise pest behaviours and any other factors impacting pest activity to provide technology-driven insights, which will allow Rentokil’s expert team to accurately and quickly reduce the risk of pests.
‘Pest Futurist’ and Lead of Internet of Things Vision at Rentokil Initial, Andrew Taylor, said PestConnect technology is modernising the face of pest management services by offering an innovative and effective way to control pests, instead of traditional methods such as blanket spraying.
“PestConnect is a holistic, data-driven solution that utilises cutting-edge AI technology to predict, monitor and respond to pest activity, in real-time, well before it becomes a problem and infestation sets in,” Mr Taylor said.
“While evolving technology and AI systems have revolutionised most Australian industries, pest services have largely relied on traditional, manual methods, with varied success. Over the past decade, we’ve focused on developing pioneering technology that will change the way we manage pests, providing an efficient and sustainable solution to manage every pest problem.
“The more data we have, the less time we need to figure out the issue, and with machine learning enabling us to filter out the ‘white noise’ and remove false positives, we can work more efficiently to control pest activity.”
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Pest infestations are devastating for Australian businesses
As well as endangering the nation’s native species, insufficient pest control can cause significant damage to business production.
Recent research conducted by Lonergan and Rentokil Initial showed that more than two in five (43%) Business Leaders that had a pest infestation had production delays, with 41% businesses even having to close down while undertaking pest control.
Service Innovation and Development Manager, Rentokil Initial, Matt Jones, said business closures can have a significant impact on business revenue and staffing, which are avoidable through adequate pest control systems.
“Australia is home to a wide variety of insects and other pesky creatures that can wreak havoc when not properly managed, particularly in the food services and production industries,” Mr Jones said.
PestConnect mitigates the risk of business closure by implementing an extensive infrastructure of digital monitoring devices, offering 24/7 monitoring, which can be remotely accessed.
The system also includes an intelligent risk mapping database that provides a predictive and proactive view of pest activity, by collating and analysing emerging trends through millions of data points.
“Effective pest control is much more than responding to a live issue or infestation, and PestConnect allows us to monitor and predict activity, and by doing so, implement targeted interventions before any damage is done to stock or produce.”
Australians unlikely to return to a business after a pest sighting
Rentokil Initial’s study indicates that Aussies are increasingly concerned about pests, with 78% saying they’re worried about finding them in their food or at their workplace.
Additionally, pest sightings are a deal breaker for most Aussies, with 51% stating they’d never go back to a café or restaurant after spotting a creepy crawly.
“No one wants to find a cockroach in their salad or a bug in their favourite snack, and a pest sighting, especially in a restaurant or café , will undoubtedly impact profits as well as reputation, as consumers aren’t shy about talking about their experiences on social media,” Mr Jones said.
The research confirmed that a quarter (25%) of business leaders who had a pest infestation found it had a negative impact on their reputation or brand, and this number nearly doubles for businesses in the food industry (41%).
Smart pest management mitigates risks for businesses
In addition to mitigating risks of pests for businesses through constant monitoring and management, PestConnect offers a more sustainable approach to pest control.
“Our philosophy has always been on prevention rather than cure – and this digital system allows us to directly target certain types of pests, therefore reducing the unnecessary use of toxic solutions,” Mr Jones said.
To find out more about PestConnect, visit
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