We all know the old joke that begins "waiter there's a bug in my soup…". The truth is that; as a business owner; that should be the most terrifying phrase you ever hear a customer say. There are multitudes of ways a pest problem can impact your business from profit loss to lower employee morale to legal action.
The most impactful effect a pest problem can have on your business is in the form of negative publicity. In this day of instant information, a negative experience during your lunch crush is common knowledge in Japan before happy-hour. It's not merely the customer making a scene or word of mouth attacks on your reputation, it's networking sites, chat rooms, twitter accounts, blog's and every other form of information dissemination up to and including the evening news! The most detrimental thing is that these are WRITTEN accounts that last for eternity and will be attached in thousands of ways to your businesses name online.
A pest infestation not only destroys your reputation, it can cause physical damage to your structure and your inventory, as well. Rats cause over $20 BILLION dollars per year in property damage. Rats have a physiological need to chew. They chew through drywall, chew on product containers, chew wiring and chew at insulation. Rodents soil or contaminate over $200 Billion in food supplies annually, worldwide. In addition to their NEED to chew, they constantly urinate and defecate. Thereby soiling whatever they happen to be standing on from fabric to whole foods to food containers.
It gets worse. Rodents & insects are vectors of disease. An infestation exposes you, your staff and your patrons to a litany of diseases with multi-syllabic names and multiple horrifying symptoms. This type of physical danger results in lower employee morale and productivity, and exposes you to potential regulatory sanctions (including fines and closure) as well as legal action from individuals affected and the local/state/federal government. There are United States Supreme Court precedents finding that "allowing potential adulteration contamination to exist is the fault of the Managers and Owners, irrespective of prior knowledge of the existence of a problem." So, if you own a business you can be held legally responsible for anything that happens on your property whether you know about it or not!