Over 100 years of service

Our story so far

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Rentokil Pest Control is awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, recognising the business’s outstanding achievement in global trade.

Leading in India

Rentokil Initial forms a joint venture with PCI Pest Control. PCI’s operations in 250 locations and 6,900 colleagues join forces with the existing Rentokil team to become the biggest pest control service in India.

Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games

Rentokil provided an intensive range of preventative pest control services to the Athletes' Village, Operating Village, three Media Villages, arenas, stadiums and the Olympic Parks, including hospitality areas.

One of the biggest Google users

Apps, Hangouts and G+ social media have become embedded within the company, boosting productivity and efficiency. Virtual communities are used to share knowledge, sales leads and best practice.

Hygiene Connect launched

In the Netherlands, Initial launched the world’s first washroom monitoring and display system which leads to improved hand-washing habits.

Signature Colour and No-touch ranges launched

Signature washroom units are made available in 9 colours, giving customers the opportunity to customise the mood in their washrooms. The No-touch range is also extended to meet increasing consumer demand to touch fewer products in the washroom and reduce the risk of cross infection.

50th Acquisition in the US

Rentokil made its 50th acquisition in the US – consolidating its position as one of the largest national pest control companies in the world’s biggest pest control market.


Rentokil launched its first global 24-hour Pestaurant event, with pop-up stands serving edible insects to 20,000 people in 12 cities from Washington to Sydney.

Signature Services Robben Island

Rentokil Initial South Africa began to install and service Signature and Reflection units in the tourist facilities of Robben Island, one of Cape Town’s most visited tourist attractions and one-time ‘home’ to Nelson Mandela.

Brazil World Cup

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

PestConnect launched

Our RADAR mousetraps are enabled with technology to automatically alert technicians and update service records in myRentokil (our customer extranet) in the event of a mouse being detected.

CleanVision wins Award

Initial Cleanroom’s CleanVision garment saw off tough competition from other German, Portuguese, Austrian and British companies to be awarded Cleanroom Technology’s Cleanroom Award for 2014.

‘City of Adelaide’ is prepared for her final voyage

The ‘City of Adelaide’, a clipper ship built in 1864 had lain on the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland. An international ‘Bring her Home’ campaign was launched in Adelaide and in late 2013 the ship bearing the City’s name began its voyage home. Before the ship could move, however, Rentokil experts were called in to undertake bird proofing and specialist cleaning and disinfection to ensure the ship met with strict Australian import regulations.

Eight new workwear collections launched

Initial Workwear launched 8 new collections including their premium Evolution collection of general workwear. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) collections (Alpha and Delta) are designed for specific tasks such as welding and are certified against the latest EU legislation, making Initial the first company in the textiles services industry to achieve this certification.

Signature is launched

Initial launched Signature – a stylish range of quality washroom products made from durable materials with an integral antibacterial surface that helps reduce the spread of germs. Signature won the prestigious Red Dot Design award in 2014.

Global Science Centre is established

Industry leading R&D has always been a feature of Rentokil Initial's operations. In 2012 a Global Science Centre was established to undertake research, development and regulatory work for the Pest Control and Hygiene businesses.

Global Pest Control Expansion

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

Bubonic plague in Libya

Rentokil was called in by the Ministry for Public Utilities of Libya to deal with rats in its major cities. In Tobruk a crack team supported the World Health Organisation to tackle an outbreak of the Bubonic plague.

Gone Google

Rentokil Initial announced an agreement with Google to move its global email and communication platform to Google Apps.

Beijing Olympics

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

Ambius is born

Rentokil Tropical Plants was renamed Ambius and began to expand its service offering to include ambient scenting and corporate artwork.

Expansion across Asia

Rentokil Initial entered Asia’s fastest growing economies of Brunei, India, and China.

The world’s smartest mousetrap

Rentokil launched the world’s smartest mousetrap – RADAR – the Rodent Activated, Detection And Riddance device which combines CO2 and infrared technology

New laundry in Lokeren

Initial opened its new state-of-the-art laundry in Lokeren, Belgium – the biggest industrial laundry in Europe. It has its own water treatment installation which allows maximum re-use of pumped water, and also makes significant savings on energy. The laundry operates 24 hours a day for 5 days a week in order to achieve greatest efficiency savings.

Rentokil preserved Norwegian Royal Heritage

Stiftsgården, Norway's Royal Residence discovered an infestation of clothes moths. Rentokil treated over 300 items of furniture, including the original Crowning Chairs, using their unique Controlled Atmosphere Technology system.

Cruise Ships

Rentokil Tropical Plants negotiated a high-profile contract to maintain exotic plant displays aboard two of P&O’s world-class super liners, Aurora and Oriana, the start of a long and rewarding relationship between Ambius and many luxury cruise liners today.

Chelsea Flower Show

Rentokil Tropical Plants won their first gold medal at Britain’s most celebrated horticultural events, the Chelsea Flower Show. They went on to win many more gold and silver gilt awards at the Hampton Court Flower show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live events.

Rentokil Initial is created

Rentokil made its largest acquisition to date, BET (British Electric Traction) and the Initial brand passed to Rentokil.

Protecting the Petronas Twin Towers

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.

Hygiene launched in Asia

Our washroom hygiene business was established in Asia with the acquisition of Wellcome Hygiene marking our entry into Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Leading the way in Malaysia and Singapore

Rentokil acquired Thomas Cowan and cemented its position as the leading pest control provider in Malaysia and Singapore.

BET acquired Initial

In the early 80s BET increased its stake in Initial to 40%, and in 1985 BET acquired the remaining 60%. This allowed it to merge Initial with Advance Service's laundry operations while retaining the Initial brand name.

Towering achievement

Rentokil secured a pest control contract for the newly-built NatWest Tower in the City of London – at that time it was Britain’s tallest building.


Rentokil was called upon to carry out termite treatment to the foundations of the newly completed Sydney Opera House as guided tours and test performances took place ahead of its official opening.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange

Rentokil Group Ltd was listed on the London Stock Exchange with one of the largest new issues of shares the City had seen. In the same year, it established the basis of a hygiene division with the purchase of Rashbrooke Chemical Company and in 1970 acquired Thames Services for £1million.

Buckingham Palace

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

The Pied Piper

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

Rentokil launched in Asia

Rentokil commenced operations in Asia through the acquisition of Anti Pest in Hong Kong and Fumigation & Pest Control in Singapore.


On 1 January 1962 all the UK trading companies became divisions of Rentokil Laboratories Ltd, shortened to Rentokil Limited.

Combining our expertise

By the mid 1950s, the synergies between British Ratin and Rentokil Ltd had become obvious and British Ratin acquired Rentokil Ltd and its service arm, Woodworm and Dry Rot Control Ltd.

Icelandic Rats

Shortly after WW2 Reykjavik found itself overrun with rats. Out of 4858 City properties, 3905 were infested with brown rats and the docks were teaming with black rats. Rentokil was called in to deal with the problem and within a few weeks the rats were eradicated. The Mayor of Reykjavik wrote to express his appreciation for the work that was not only successful, but that also “received no complaints of accident or illness among people or pets”.

Dr Hickin, Entomologist

Dr Norman Hickin joined Rentokil Limited as an entomologist. He started a servicing section which became Woodworm and Dry Rot Control Ltd in 1952.

Ratin Buys Chelsea

Demand for pest control services began extending beyond rodent control to insect control. British Ratin made its first acquisition, Chelsea Insecticides Ltd.

Enter BET

The Initial Towel Supply Company floated on the stock market and during the 1930s BET (British Electric Traction) acquired a small stake in Initial.

Rentokil is born.

The company was registered in 1925 as Rentokil Limited due to trade name objections preventing the name 'Entokill'.


Harold Maxwell-Lefroy started supplying bottles of woodworm fluid from a small factory in Hatton Garden, which he called 'Ento-kill fluids – an amalgam of the Greek work 'entomon' meaning insect and the English word 'kill'.

Westminster Hall Deathwatch Beetle

Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, Professor of Entomology at Imperial College London, was asked to study ways of exterminating the beetles in Westminster Hall and in time began receiving regular orders.

Ratin Discovered

Danish pharmacist, Georg Neumann of Aalborg discovered a strain of bacteria lethal to rats and mice, which became known commercially as Ratin. The first London sales office opened in 1906.

Initialled Towels Introduced

Mr A. P. Bigelow introduced a towel rental service to businesses in London. Each towel was marked with the customer's initials, which ensured that customers only received their own towels, leading to the name, 'Initial Towel Supply Company'.