Rentokil Initial (LSE: RTO) is a major British-based business services group.
It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The Company was founded in 1924 by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, Professor of entomology at Imperial College, London, who had been investigating ways to kill Death watch beetles that had infested Westminster Hall, next door to the Houses of Parliament.
Lefroy and his assistant produced an anti-woodworm fluid called Ento-Kill Fluids: ento came from the Latin name for insect.
In 1925 he tried to register the name Entokill, but had to choose Rentokil Limited instead.
On 14 October 1925, Lefroy was killed in a laboratory when an experiment produced poisonous fumes.
His assistant, Elizabeth Eades, took over the running of the company, which was bought in 1957 by British Ratin.
British Ratin became Rentokil Group in 1960.
It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1969.