The cost of pest control

Among the many volunteer fighters I met during my first stint in Libya in early March was a young man who said he worked for Rentokil. I made some sort of feeble joke about how his pest control services were needed in Tripoli. There was a rat that needed catching, or some such.

Then again just outside Benghazi I met rebels driving around in a pick-up pinched from a pest-control service. Cue same joke, although it was lost on my Arabic-speaking audience.

Anyway, turns out it is no joking matter. As The Financial Times reports:

The civil war in Libya has left Rentokil Initial unable to recover unpaid bills, pushing pre-tax profits down by two-thirds.

The pest control-to-cleaning services company, which had a contract to control the rat population in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi, has taken a £4.8m hit after suspending its operations in the country.


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