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Protecting homes and workplaces during El Niño event

As El Niño sends temperatures soaring, protecting homes and workplaces from poor indoor air quality and pests should be a priority this summer

With El Niño set to bring hotter, drier weather to much of Australia this summer, we are likely to see an increased risk of bushfires and poor outdoor air quality, and therefore be advised to stay indoors more often.

But is indoors any safer? Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air due to indoor air pollutants, increasing the risk of respiratory issues. Around seven million Australians are at elevated risk of developing health problems during extreme smoke events.

Pest activity is expected to spike too as warmer weather kick-starts a natural build-up of insect numbers.

El Nino Bushfires

What can Australians do to protect themselves indoors?

Research from CSIRO shows that having portable air purifiers, fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, can substantially improve indoor air quality during extreme smoke events. 

While almost half (48 per cent) of Australians are willing to spend big on smart home devices, given the extra time we might be enjoying indoors this summer, air purifiers are likely to be the next ‘must have consumer tech device’ worth having. They also come with the added benefit of creating a healthier home and cost a lot less than the average home entertainment device. 

El Nino Smog

Our InspireAir 72 air purification devices are now available to everyday Australians to help them protect themselves at home. The device removes over 99.95% of harmful airborne particles, including bacteria, viruses, mould, pollen, dust, allergens and smoke particles from indoor environments through its multi-layer HEPA filter.  

In the workplace, Radic8’s VIRUSKILLER™ kills 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria in a single air pass. It contains a HEPA filter, a medical-grade pre-filter to filter dirty air, a carbon filter to neutralise toxic air and a patented UV-C reactor chamber to safely and efficiently decontaminate airborne viruses and biological pathogens that traditional filters do not, to effectively address the risk of sick air. 


How to manage the influx of pests 

The number of cockroaches, ants, spiders and flying insects like mosquitoes and house flies that are vectors and carry diseases and pathogens, is already increasing according to our data. While this is normal for this time of year as temperatures start rising, El Niño is likely to exacerbate normal pest activity this summer, but to what extent and in which locations, we’ll have to wait and see.

In northern Australia which are already hot and humid we don’t expect too many changes, but there may be increased pest activity in New South Wales, Victoria and even South Australia because of higher than normal temperatures, over longer periods, creating the ideal breeding conditions for some insects. 

Kitchens and dining areas

We’re also more likely to see an increase in transient insect movement as they seek cooler air, which may result in more insect swarms in urban environments. Swarms usually drop off as quickly as they come and often involve protected native species so there is little opportunity for treatment so the best approach is to stay indoors or away from swarm locations until it passes.

If things start to feel like they’re getting out of control, Rentokil Initial’s pest control team can advise on the best course of action.

Taking the heat out of your concerns

No one wants to put up with dirty indoor air or unwelcome ‘guests’ in their home or at work. At Rentokil Initial we’re here to help you protect your environment and create a healthier home. You can contact us here if you need our help.

Hygiene in the workplace

Employee and customer expectation on hygiene is higher than ever before.

  • Initial Hygiene offers a free Hygiene 360 review across your business to ensure minimal risk to staff and customers
  • Complete end to end range of solutions across hand, surface, washroom and air
  • Network of hygiene experts located at branches through Australia to be agile and responsive to your hygiene requirements
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