One of the high lights of my career is when I’m asked to identify a bug, to each his own but I enjoy that part of the job. A guy pops into our office with this little critter and its up to me to identify and possible deduce where it came from and out to control it.
So here are the clues – its a larva, usually they do the damage. Notice the hairs, its important. How about those hairs on the end, its really important. So did you guess right – its a carpet beetle larva. The hairs on the end or butt are the extremely important clue, hope you did well but if you didn’t you always have me.
We often get calls to rid homes of certain bugs and sometimes I just want to say – clean your house first. Its all in the approach to a customer, I have always believed that a home was meant to be lived in. Hoarding though can be dangerous, look I prefer a home that was clutter free but that isn’t always going to happen. So lets just say that your home leans a little closer to clutter than clutter free, what can you do?
If you have carpet vacuum often and make sure you empty the vacuum. We don’t have fleas here in Arizona but I have seen fleas hatch from a bag vacuum and re-infest the entire home again.
Carpet beetles are a problem and if you have a vacuum that really works well, it may be able to suck up the larva and they do all the damage.
Bed Bugs can also hang out near the baseboard and edges of the carpet, so vacuuming could help. Speaking of Bed Bugs if you want to use DE or DiatomaceousEarth – don’t go crazy this stuff can be dangerous when your breath it into your nose.
Don’t use Bug Bombs, they can make the critter go deeper and more of an issue on treating in the future.
Animals and birds can really cause some major issues, such as bad air and parasites. Bad air within a structure can cause serious Asthma issues and depending on the circumstance can be caused by German Roaches, rat droppings and urine and hair left behind.
At least in the case above all the droppings were on the outside but we can always track them into the home and that’s another great reason to clean carpets. We definitely don’t want that mess in the attic and we don’t want animals of any kind nesting or raising babies.
I think most replacement filters suggest every 60 days, but I think a more appropriate answer is when they are dirty. The rest of the answer is how many contaminates are involved with your home? Do you have pets, do you live in an area where they have smog days and how many people live in your home? What about allergies, do you or someone living in your home have allergies? If you answered yes, then you should consider special filters that collect more contaminates. Dust mites, German Cockroaches and other pests can increase asthma conditions and should be prevented.
Dust-mites are leading cause of asthma in children.
House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites, relatives of the spider, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites are generally harmless to most people. They don’t carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. People sometimes confuse dust-mites with bed bugs. 500 million people are affected by these little critters worldwide and may be a factor of 50 – 80% of asthmatics.
Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sheds or loses about 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat. Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat.
Beds are a prime harborage (where 1/3 of life occurs). A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings. Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. A favorite food is dander both human and animal skin flakes. Humans shed about 1/5 ounce of dander or dead skin each week. About 80 percent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is actually skin flakes. Also, bedroom carpeting and household upholstery support high mite populations.
Carpet Industry or even in our industry Green is a random and often used word which some people don’t understand. Carpet cleaners often claim GREEN and that one company only uses distilled water. In our industry most of those GREEN claims are just not correct – Pyrethoids are they GREEN, organic or what? What about silica – yes it’s glass particles but it can really mess up the veins in your nose and what if you breath it into your lungs. Every once in awhile I see someone spreading DE like it was some kind of innocuous products but much like silica it can also damage the nose veins. Moth balls are another often misused product – Read and understand the labels and use directions.