O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

The Pest Detectives: The Definitive Guide to Rentokil

Book Description

Rentokil is the heart and soul of pest control. A brand synonymous with its field and familiar to all. Innovative, ground-breaking, highly professional; renowned for scientific rigour and go-the-extra-mile customer service. At last, here's a book that tells the full story of Rentokil's rise into an international powerhouse - and the pest problems it encountered and solved along the way. The Pest Detectives explores the origins of the brand, including the story of founder Professor Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, a brilliant yet tragic figure; Britain's first Imperial Entomologist and one of the foremost scientific minds of the early 20th century. It covers the personalities, big deals, landmark assignments and technical accomplishments that shaped the business. But as well as looking back, The Pest Detectives is very much a book about the business today: the culture, the strategy, the significant investment in innovation and training required to ensure Rentokil will still be at the forefront of the pest control market another 90 years from now. Through interviews with senior managers and talented 'pest detectives' on the ground, Rob Gray paints a picture of what the brand stands for and where it is going. A compelling picture of the greatest pest control business there has ever been.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Foreword
  3. The Birth of a Pest Control Powerhouse
  4. Chapter One: Dangerous Experiments
    1. Imperial Entomologist
    2. Return to England
    3. Westminster Hall in peril
    4. The first world war
    5. Early timber fluid marketing
    6. An untimely end
  5. Chapter Two: The Early Years of Rentokil
    1. An eye for talent
    2. Wheeler-dealing to get by
    3. Promoting expertise
  6. Chapter Three: Parallel Beginnings – The British Ratin Story
    1. From humble beginnings
    2. The rats had no idea
    3. Fundraising for Spitfires
    4. Success in Iceland
    5. The move to Felcourt
    6. A commitment to science
  7. Chapter Four: The Road to Flotation
    1. The Westphal-Buchan double act
    2. A ground-breaking policy
    3. Scarecrow Strip
    4. Secreted in the vaults
    5. Crisis strikes: The Smarden Incident
    6. Fire at Fetcham
    7. Pied Piper publicity coup
    8. Profits top £1m
    9. Open to ideas
    10. New pins aplenty on the map
  8. Chapter Five: Life as a PLC
    1. Scientific firepower on the radio
    2. International franchising
    3. An education in payroll
    4. Filling up at Felcourt
    5. Succession planning
    6. Woodworm at Gatcombe
    7. Platforms and pink flares
    8. Rentokil Film Unit
    9. Yew Lodge
    10. Ludvig and Sara Elsass Foundation
  9. Chapter Six: Aiming High
    1. Mr 20 per cent
    2. Hospitals can damage your health
    3. Genuine camaraderie
    4. Multi-step rebranding
    5. Winning admiration
    6. In pursuit of BET
    7. Atlanta Olympics
    8. In a bubble
  10. Chapter Seven: Renewed Focus
    1. Taking lessons into other markets
    2. Proud to wear the shirt
    3. In tribute to Matt Wood
    4. Well-managed transition
    5. Project Speed
    6. World Cup in Brazil
    7. Pestaurant – a tasty concept
    8. Expanding the Rentokil brand through acquisitions
  11. Chapter Eight: Tales from the Frontline
    1. Stuck in the muck
    2. Banking on trouble in Belgium
    3. And you thought postage stamps were adhesive
    4. Timber!
    5. To the Bahamas with a chihuahua
    6. A million miles on the road
    7. The maggot on the path to wisdom
    8. The birds that stopped time
    9. Through dusty ducts on a journey of discovery
    10. Butterfly chasers and gigantic beetles
    11. Poignant secrets of a ‘manoir’ in Brittany
    12. When corruption in NYC was rife
    13. Teenage angst in the bedroom
  12. Chapter Nine: Going the Extra Mile
    1. Aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings
    2. Bubonic plague and landmines
    3. Trans-shipment… and pesky mongoose imports
    4. Corporate snake removal
  13. Chapter Ten: Reinventing Rentokil
    1. Popping candy
    2. Wake up and smell the coffee
    3. Smart surfaces
    4. Cockroach-killing fungi
    5. Using heat to control insects
    6. Solutions for a connected world
    7. Thwarting scams
    8. On course for the 22nd century
  14. Chapter Eleven: Adapt, Change, Improve and Excel
  15. Chapter Twelve: The Pest Detectives
    1. Lisbon’s tricky rats
    2. Cockroach-ulations
    3. Brazilian defence holds firm
    4. Cruise control
    5. An eye for a fly
    6. A human encyclopaedia
    7. Protecting your food
    8. Reaching new heights
    9. From cop to detective
  16. The Pestiary
  17. Rentokil Firsts
  18. Who’s Who
  19. About the Author
  20. Acknowledgements
  21. Publishing details