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Do Pests Indicate Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Issues (water leaks, mold, bacteria, dead neighbors, etc.)?

Bugs are scary enough, but did you know an abundance of critters and poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) often go hand in hand?  Bugs and common IEQ issues such as mold, bacteria and chemical emissions have a few things in common.

 

1.      They gross most people out.

a.       Bugs and environmental issues are known to result in massive outbreaks of the heebie-jeebies, the creeps and the willies.

 

2.      They all have an affinity for water.

a.       Wet building materials (drywall, carpet, insulation, wood, etc.) and contents (towels, bathing suits, trash, etc.) are an oasis for ants, scorpions, cricket, roaches, termites and the like.  Similarly, microorganisms find happy homes in wet building components or the contents therein.  Got bugs?  Check for a water source such as a leaking supply line, roof leak, ponding against the building, etc.

 

3.      They share decaying organic material.

a.       Smell something rank?  Got a line of ants crawling unto a wall and coming out with bits of hair.  Probably something dead in the wall cavity.  Finding flies everywhere in your apartment?  It may be time to check on your neighbor, who you have not seen in a week or so.

 

4.      They coincide with dry sewer traps.

a.       Picture that bent pipe under your sink that incessantly gets in the way of your stored cleaning supplies.  Well, that bend or trap is supposed to always be filled with water. Similarly, you have seen the standing water in your in the bottom of your toilet bowl.  Well that water is not there just to embarrass you by resonating splashing noises throughout the office.  This water acts as a barrier separating the sewer from your house or workplace.  If that water disappears (evaporates or leaks), then undesirables acquire unhindered access into your living areas.  Those undesirables coming from the sewer include critters, such as roaches and rats, as well as noxious sewer gasses like ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.  One sewer gas of particular interest is methyl mercaptan, which is the very additive gas companies add to the odorless natural gas delivered to your home, so you can smell a gas leak.  Often dry sewer traps and resultant sewer gas infiltration result in false alarm gas leak calls to the fire department and gas company.  Keep the sewer gases and sewer critters out of your home by running the  water in your drains and flushing toilets regularly.

 

For the answers to all your commercial and residential indoor environmental health and safety questions, please give us a call at Clark Seif Clark, Inc (480-460-8334).  We love gross stuff and we love solving puzzles.

 

About the author:

 

Derrick A. Denis, CIAQP, CAC, CIEC is Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark, Inc. (CSC), an indoor air quality consulting and industrial hygiene testing firm. Throughout his 20 year career, Mr. Denis has been involved in over 13,000 environmental health and safety projects. Presently, Mr. Denis is 1st Vice President of the IAQA and is on the EIA-AZ Chapter Board of Directors. To reach Derrick, e-mail derrickdenis@csceng.com, call 480-460-8334 or visit www.csceng.com.

CSC

 

Other articles by Mr. Denis:

 

Ø  Published paper in Bioaerosols, Fungi, Bacteria, Mycotoxins and Human Health: Patho-physiology, Clinical Effects, Exposure Assessment, Prevention and Control in Indoor Environments and Work

o   September of 2003 “Qualitative Identification of Meruliporia Incrassata Using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real Time PCR)”

 

Ø  Published articles in Indoor Environment Connections (I.E. Connections)

o    October, 2008 issue entitled “Knowing the Limitations of the Tools in Your Toolbox”

 

o   December, 2008 issue entitled “Top Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Issues Facing Buildings”

 

o    June 2010 issue entitled “Exhausted, Simply Exhausted: HEPA-Equipped Devices”

 

o    September 2010 issue entitled “All That Glitters Is Not Gold – Sometimes It’s Mercury”

o    February 2011 issue entitled “To Err is Human, Is To I.R. Devine: Common Myths Regarding Infrared (IR) Thermography”

 

Ø  Published article in Restoration & Remediation Magazine (R&R Magazine)

o    July 2013 issue entitled “An Introduction to Indoor Air and Environmental Quality”

o    August 2013 issue entitled “Asbestos: Still a Stumbling Block in Restoration and Remediation”

 

Disclosure:

 

CSC and ProBest Pest Management have a long successful history of assisting common clientele.  In addition, ProBest has provided Derrick Denis outstanding pest control services for his private home, rental homes and hair salons (Arizona Hair Company, www.arizonahairco.com.)

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