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Health‐Related Information

CRI – Carpet: How It Affects Indoor Air Quality

View a video about how indoor air quality can affect your carpet.
CRI – Carpet: How It Affects Indoor Air Quality

Sleeping With The Enemy?

Mattress cleaning and allergen removal really started in Europe about 15 years ago. Why clean mattresses? There is a growing amount of scientific data that reveals better environmental hygiene improves health. The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air …
Read More →

Kawasaki Disease & Your Children: The Facts, The Fiction

Kawasaki Disease or Kawasaki Syndrome is a topic that comes up with consumers and other carpet cleaners from time to time. This discussion will help you to know a little about what it is and what it isn’t. Kawasaki Disease … Read More →

Day Care Facilities – How safe are your kids?

Some Thoughts about Carpet, Fabric, and Cleaning Do you know what and how your child’s day care center maintains their carpets? What is Little Johnny being forced to breathe during nap time? Carpets are very effective sinks. They absorb and … Read More →

Indoor Air Quality

Today, indoor air quality is an important environmental consideration. Because we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, we must do everything possible to improve the air we breathe. During the energy crisis of the ’70s, Americans began to … Read More →

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are destructive insects often found in the home. In spite of their common name, modern carpets made from mainly synthetic materials are not damaged by these insects. The larvae cause damage, crawling from room to room and living …
Read More →

Carpet Cleaner or Exterminator?

Understanding what lies beneath your carpet will result in a healthy environment. We have all seen them at one time or another: grotesque pictures of fleas, ticks and mites that make even the most hardened individual cringe at their appearance. … Read More →

Allergy Relief Cleaning

A New Way To Feel The Relief From Your Allergy and Asthma Symptoms… Guaranteed! If you’re one of the 70 million Americans that suffer from allergies or allergic illnesses such as asthma or sinusitis you already know how miserable they … Read More →

CRI – Carpet: How It Affects Indoor Air Quality

Sleeping With The Enemy?

Mattress cleaning and allergen removal really started in Europe about 15 years ago.

Why clean mattresses? There is a growing amount of scientific data that reveals better environmental hygiene improves health.

The Environmental Protection Agency has consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health, and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,

“50 percent of all illnesses are caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air.”


So, who is the enemy? How many times have you or a family member awakened from a night’s sleep with itchy skin or red and irritated eyes? Or how about a stuffed up nose, a barrage of sneezes, wheezing or tight chest, painful head or sinus ache, a general feeling of fatigue, or even depression, all for no particular reason?


Well, the fact is that you or a member of your family could be one of the 50 million Americans that suffer from some kind of allergy.

The odds are the culprit may well be the millions of dust mites that have made a home for themselves in your mattress and are feeding on the skin flakes we shed every night. That’s right Millions of microscopic dust mites that have been medically proven to trigger a whole host of allergic reactions, like asthma, bronchitis, eczema and more.


It doesn’t matter how new a mattress is, how often you change the sheets, mattress cover, or even if you take the time to vacuum it once in a while, it is pretty difficult to eliminate these deeply embedded foes. It takes a professional cleaning and application of dust mite-neutralizing product to control the mite allergens between regular cleanings.


Those ominous things in the picture on the right are the real trouble makers. These little creatures, not visible to the naked eye, and in fact, they’re so small that as many as 1000 of them could be placed on the head of a pin. And guess where their favorite breeding spot is?

Yes, that’s right. . . the mattress. Their ideal home!


Why the mattress? Because it’s warm, often moist, cozy, easy to burrow into and full of their favorite food…skin flakes, the skin flakes every human being sheds every day and night of his or her life, no matter what their age, sex or state of health.

And you can’t vacuum them away.


Facts

  • We shed 10,000 million scales of bacteria laden skin each day, most end up in our mattresses.
  • Dust mites produce 200 times it’s body weight in excrement during their normal life span.
  • Dust mites feast for up to 170 days on our shed skin.
  • Dust mites spread rapidly. A female dust mite lays 300 eggs.
  • They can live without food for up to a year.


For allergy sufferers, applying a miticide or pesticide to their mattresses is not recommended.

These materials are poisons and could cause discomfort to allergy patients, as their skin and face would be in close proximity to these materials.


Recent estimates indicate that more than 21% of the homes in Europe have mattress cleaning services performed on a regular basis.

No wonder the Europeans consume just a fraction of the allergy and cold medications that Americans are quick to take.


We Americans spend approximately one-third of our lives in bed, moving around frequently. As a result, even the slightest movement causes these harmful microscopic enemies to become airborne for hours, living in the air that we breathe. It’s time to fight back and eliminate the mattress as a health risk.


Just What the Doctor Ordered!


Dust mites produce guanine, a combination of mite droppings and saliva, and all the latest medical evidence points to this as the dominant cause of most allergies and other widespread maladies such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, bronchitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes, itchy red eyes, headaches, sinus problems and more. Common sense tells us that if we can eliminate the cause, we can eliminate the symptoms. And, if there are any children in the house, medical evidence points to the fact that exposure to these dust mites in the first year of life may very well trigger a lifelong allergy.


The Mattress Cleaning process we provide is a non-evasive and totally safe way to keep your dust mite population under control. It’s affordable, it’s simple, and it promotes a healthy way of life. Now is the time to quit treating the symptoms and treat the problem.


Have Your Mattress Professionally Cleaned Today by Us!

Kawasaki Disease & Your Children: The Facts, The Fiction

Kawasaki Disease or Kawasaki Syndrome is a topic that comes up with consumers and other carpet cleaners from time to time.

This discussion will help you to know a little about what it is and what it isn’t.


Kawasaki Disease in a nutshell: It is a very rare illness first recognized in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s by Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki in Japan. It occurs primarily in children under five with most cases occurring in toddlers, 1 to 2 years old. Symptoms include a rash on hands and feet, fever, red lips, tongue, and eyes. It can progress to damage the heart and coronary arteries. It is not spread from person to person or “catching.” In its most severe form, it can be fatal in a small percentage of cases, due to heart damage.


When the syndrome was first recognized it was originally thought to be related to carpet cleaning, but researchers have not been able to show a conclusive link. Logically, it would be the first thing researchers would look at in the case of a small child with a rash on their hands and feet and mouth. You would assume they must have touched something that made them break out. And since babies and small children spend a lot of time on the floor, most parents of small children have the carpets cleaned frequently.


So, is there a connection? Researchers don’t know. There might be and it might be just a coincidence. One thing about scientific research – it is very hard to prove “lack of connection.” To illustrate this scientific problem: Did you know that over 90% of all criminals had eaten bread within 24 hours of committing their crime? Does that mean that eating bread makes you commit crime? Of course not! Can you prove there’s No connection? That’s a little harder.


Carpet cleaning has been blamed for Kawasaki Disease in the popular media, starting with an article in the National Enquirer in 1984 with the inflammatory headline “Carpet Shampooing Kills Children.” Sensational media stories like this and the recent story on Good Morning America continue to pop up from tine to time. The Industry’s response has been “it’s not true, people are imagining things, it’s not our fault.” The true picture falls somewhere between these two extremes.


It is worth pointing out that Kawasaki Disease was first recognized in Japan where carpeting in homes is quite rare. Some children who develop Kawasaki Disease have not been exposed to carpet cleaning.


Researchers looking for the cause of Kawasaki Disease suspect the involvement of a virus or bacteria that produces a toxin similar to those involved in Toxic Shock Syndrome or Scarlet Fever. It is possible that the moisture of carpet cleaning could activate such an organism, or the stirring of the air could make the organism airborne where a susceptible person could breathe it.


The carpet cleaning industry is, of course, very interested in the research for the cause of Kawasaki Disease. As research unravels the mystery of Kawasaki Disease I am sure the carpet cleaning industry will be informed.


A good rule of thumb to minimize any hazards that may be present is that small children should not be present during cleaning and not be allowed on the cleaned carpet for several hours. At A Clean & Tidy Carpet Cleaner our technicians would agree that they would rather not have small children “helping” for a myriad of other reasons, and to prevent tracking soil onto the newly cleaned carpet. You also need to know that you have a qualified carpet cleaner and one that is certified and cleans according to manufacture guidelines. We specifically clean with your health and well being in mind and take extra measures to ensure that residues are not left in your carpet after cleaning. It is also important to note that not cleaning carpet may pose a greater health risk than cleaning them. Carpets are known to act as sinks for soils, bacteria, mold and fungus. If these soils are not removed through periodic professional cleanings, they may contribute to indoor air quality problems and possible health problems for occupants.


Summary

Kawasaki Disease is very rare; in the U.S., 0.015% of children under 5 years old will develop KD


Kawasaki Disease is a serious Illness.


KD is not an allergy or sensitivity to chemicals


Carpet cleaning by itself does not cause KD. If it did, the incidence would be much higher. Some children who develop KD were never exposed to carpet cleaning. Researchers have not yet determined the cause. Some facet of carpet cleaning may be one of multiple factors that must be present before Kawasaki Disease develops.


If you would like to have more information in regards to Kawasaki Disease, How Safe Are Your Children in Your Own Home, Indoor Air Quality and Allergens in Your Home, The Secrets of Selecting a Professional Carpet Cleaner give us a call 770-929-8439 now.


Here are some internet links where you can read more about Kawasaki Disease Syndrome.


Kawasaki Disease Foundation

American Heart Association

Day Care Facilities – How safe are your kids?

Some Thoughts about Carpet, Fabric, and Cleaning


Do you know what and how your child’s day care center maintains their carpets? What is Little Johnny being forced to breathe during nap time?


Carpets are very effective sinks. They absorb and adsorb gases and particles of all kinds. The sink effect of carpet can be a benefit. Periodically, carpet and other fibers indoors need to be emptied. Under the most ideal situation, carpet constantly takes in and then releases at various emission rates a variety of unwanted substances. The “sink” when loaded or filled becomes a releasing “source.” Humans are exposed to those sinks through direct contact, such as children on the floor, or by the release of the contaminant from the sink.


We know that if carpet is not cleaned for periods of time, it captures particulate matter of all kinds. Some of this matter is food for living organisms. The carpet can become a niche for bio pollutants. There is nothing particular about carpet which would automatically promote the growth of bio pollutants. An unclean carpet, like any fibrous material, when exposed to moisture in the air can be the source of and can be responsible for the proliferation of a wide variety of living organisms including bacteria, fungi, and mites. Where carpet is installed and how it is maintained is extremely important to indoor environmental quality. Carpet needs to be kept dry at all costs and free of pollutant buildup inside and below. All conditions that make carpet a safe and healthy floor covering are achievable and manageable.


The question often surfaces, how often should carpet and fabrics be cleaned? This is an important issue to the quality of indoor environments. More and more there are problems found indoors related to carpet and fabrics. Most all of these can be solved through cleaning.


Based upon what researchers working in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe have learned, carpeting and fabrics not cleaned and properly maintained have the potential to cause a variety of health problems inside the building environment. From a public health perspective it would be difficult to justify the installation of carpets indoors without the existence of effective cleaning methods using environmentally sound cleaning technology by individuals properly trained in the application of those methods and technology.


Most cleaning is conducted for the sake of improving appearance. Health protection is rarely the reason the general population ever has carpet and fabric cleaned. In spite of this, every time carpets and fabrics are emptied of their pollution build-up through professional cleaning methods, there is a health benefit. Cleaning processes that extract pollutants from the micro environment enhance the quality of the indoor environment by reducing exposure. Cleaning especially through extraction improves environmental conditions and health protection.


We have only begun to really become aware of the contents of carpet dirt and dust. We do know that outside contamination levels, especially in soil, can reach the same concentrations indoors. We are also finding out that typical vacuuming does not reduce fine particle levels indoors. Fine particles of less than 1 micron pass on through vacuum cleaning bags. These sub micron particles tend to build up over time and have the greatest potential to cause harm as they penetrate deep into the human lung. Furthermore, we are finding that the soil gases, such as the harmful decay products of radon and a variety of organic compounds including pesticides, enter the micro environment and adhere to particles or the surfaces of carpet and fabric. Until such time as the fibers are cleaned, the potential for human exposure and health risk remains high.


The health benefit is derived by extracting:

  1. Fine respirable particles not controlled through normal cleaning processes such as frequent vacuuming,
  2. Particles to which other pollutants such as organics are bound
  3. Biological allergens of all types
  4. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic found in outside soil dusts
  5. Pesticides and herbicides used in and around the micro environment
  6. Combustion products from cooking, wood smoke, candles, and tobacco, to name but a few


Furthermore, the benefit of extracting is the overall reduction of respirable particles which cause most health effects, reduced cases of biologically induced illnesses, reduced lifetime cancer risks, and reduced complaints and liability for building owners and managers.


How often carpet and fabric should be cleaned depends on a number of variables: The condition of the outside environment which can be tracked or blown inside; temperature, humidity, and time of year; the number and types of pets; smoking habits of the inhabitants; the number and age of children; the number and health status of the inhabitants; the type of activities being conducted indoors; the type of indoor environment eating establishment, nursing home, daycare center, white collar office, or semi industrial office; the type and extent of routine cleaning done by the inhabitants; and the desired level of environmental comfort and quality.


A “Cleaning Program” for different environments should always be planned, for both carpet and fabric. Cleaning environments for the sake of protecting health requires that indoor environments be cleaned more often than they are usually cleaned. The suggested cleaning times are based on the protection of sensitive segments of the population: the very young, the old, and sensitive individuals. The suggested cleaning times for carpet are the top numbers and fabrics are the bottom numbers in the following table.

Recommended Cleaning Times Based on Public Health Consideration

Environment

Day Care Centers

Contaminated Outside, Dusty

1 wk / 3 mos.

Extremely Cold Weather Climates

2 wks / 3 mos.

High Humidity Biogenic

2 wks / 3 mos.

Normal

1 wk / 6 mos.

Nursing Homes

1 wk / 3 mos.

1 wk / 3 mos.

1 wk / 1 mos.

1 wk / 6 mos.

Family Residence (2-person, non-smoking)

2 mos. / 6 mos.

4-6 mos. / 1 yr.

4-6 mos. / 1 yr.

6-12 mos. / 3 yrs.

Family Residence (smoking)

2 mos. / 6 mos.

3 mos. / 6 mos.

4 mos. / 6 mos.

4 mos. / 6 mos.

Family Residence (young Children)

1 mo.

3 mos.

3 mos.

6 mos. / 1 yr.

Family Residence (young children, pets)

1-4 mos. / 6 mos.

2-6 mos.

2-6 mos. / 6 mos.

3-6 mos. / 1 yr.

Office building (ground)

1 wk / 3 mos.

1 wk / 3 mos.

1 wk / 1 mos.

1 wk / 6 mos.

Office building (higher floors)

2-6 mos.

3-9 mos.

3-9 mos.

6-12 mos.

Eating Establishments

1 wk. / 1 mo.

2 wks. / 3 mos.

2 wks. / 3 mos.

1 mo. / 6 mos.

Commercial (shops, banks)

1 mo.

2 mos.

2 mos.

3-6 mos.

Why do buildings draw complaints from occupants? About 30% of all buildings are complaint buildings. In the life of a building, complains occur immediately after the building has been opened as the result of off-gasing of products. However, after several months, most every complaint is the result of poor maintenance and cleaning. The longer the building is allowed to go under poor maintenance, the more serious the health problem and the greater overall long term costs will be fore the building owners in terms of liability, restoration costs, lost rents, and property devaluation.


There are examples of costs associated with an effective environmental management. Consider for instance that the immune systems of sensitive occupants may not be fully developed or may be weakened by old age or sickness. They are therefore at greater health risk than others. To make matters worse, the sick, the aged, and the very young cannot often help to manage their own environments. The most effective means of protecting their immune systems is to keep their immediate environments extraordinarily clean and maintained.


Special environments for sensitive populations like children can be looked at from an economic point of view. Sensitive populations spend time in day-care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, public buildings as well as some private homes at significant costs under normal circumstances. Wherever there is a sensitive population, there are special maintenance needs and additional unwanted economic (welfare) implications if those needs are not met.


Consider as an example the cleaning and maintenance associated with day-care facility. Typically a family spends $6,000+ a year to keep their child in day care. Assume that a 10,000 square foot facility that cares for 50 children spends $12,000 a year on cleaning and maintenance. That is only 4 percent, or $240, of each child’s annual tuition. Each time a child becomes sick because the facility was improperly cleaned, the family incurs additional costs. For example, the parents lose time at paid work and must pay more medical bills. Specifically, if a child is sick for five days a year because of improper cleaning, the family could easily pay an additional $2,000 or more a year in lost wages and doctor bills. But when the center doubles its environmental management, it eliminates child sickness due to poor sanitation. That adds $240 to childcare costs per child, but saves $2,000 or more in disposable family income.


Day Care Facility Cleaning Facts

• Typically a family spends $6,000 a year to keep their child in day care. Assume that a 10,000 sq foot facility that cares for 50 children spends $12,000 a year on cleaning. That is only 4 percent, or $240 of each child’s annual tuition.


• Each time a child becomes sick because the facility was improperly cleaned the family incurs direct, indirect, and hidden cost. The day care facility incurs a potential liability.


• A family could easily incur a $2,000+ annually in lost wages and medical bills related to unsanitary day care.

Assume the center doubles cleaning activities and spends $24,000 a year to eliminate child sickness due to poor sanitation. That adds $240 to care costs per child annually.


• Effective cleaning saves contributes ten times the additional cleaning cost in disposable family income.


Article by Dr. Michael A. Berry

Refer us to your child’s day care or school with confidence!

Protect your Children’s Health

Indoor Air Quality

Today, indoor air quality is an important environmental consideration. Because we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, we must do everything possible to improve the air we breathe. During the energy crisis of the ’70s, Americans began to tightly close their workplaces and homes in order to conserve energy resources. Currently, many families have both parents working, with less cleaning time in the home. Ventilation and cleanliness play important parts in maintaining good air quality; although, the indoor environment is impacted by many factors.


Among the factors that may impact the quality of the indoor air in your home is the air drawn from outside. Other factors may be tobacco smoke, radon, and cooking odors, as well as renovating and redecorating products, such as wallpaper, furniture and cabinetry, carpet, paints, varnishes, particle board, wood finishes, caulking, and adhesives. Interior products in the home have the potential to impact the indoor air because they emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. The quality of indoor air also involves cleaning materials, building materials, ducts transmitting heat and air conditioning, activities in the building, people, pets, and furnishings.


One must look at the whole picture. Cleaning products used in the home, as well as interior furnishings, should be low VOC emitters, with emissions, sometimes improperly called off gassing, that dissipate quickly. Scientific studies have demonstrated that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment and that these emissions dissipate very quickly. The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet dissipate within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation. Carpet has not posed any health problems for millions of satisfied customers. Carpet is made primarily of the same innocuous materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics; i.e., polyester, nylon, and olefin fibers, latex (synthetic rubber), and polypropylene (olefin) fabric backing.


Shaw Industries recommends that hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or, where a truck mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable, self-contained system brought into the home.


Common Factors That Affect Indoor Air Quality

  • People (exhalation, body odors, diseases)
  • Activities (work such as cleaning, using correction fluids, carbonless paper, pest control products, and personal activities such as wear fragrances and smoking)
  • Technology (photocopiers and laser printers)
  • Furnishings (furniture, draperies, floor coverings)
  • Finishes (paint, varnish, vinyl wall coverings)
  • Building materials (caulking compounds, adhesives, wood laminates)
  • Outdoor air quality
  • Inadequate or contaminated air handling units
  • Inadequate cleaning practices



Study: Dust and other indoor irritants contribute to asthma; regular carpet cleaning is a simple solution.


WASHINGTON — If you’re susceptible to asthma, a committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Washington, DC, has a simple recommendation: Regular cleaning of carpets and upholstered furniture.


According to the committee, organized at the request of the US Environmental Protection Agency, strong evidence indicates that proteins shed by dust mites, cats and cockroaches can cause or aggravate asthma in susceptible individuals.


To help prevent or control asthma, the committee recommends regular cleaning of carpets and upholstered furniture, removal of pets and pests, the elimination of chemical pollutants, absolutely no smoking in the home and keeping indoor humidity as low as possible.


According to the committee, secondhand smoke aggravates asthma in preschool children; a relationship that is less clear in older children. The committee analyzed dozens of potential indoor irritants and classified them according to the amount of research linking the substances with asthma.


In a statement issued by the IOM, committee chairman Richard Johnston, Jr. said

"The prevalence of asthma continues to rise dramatically in this county and the reason why is a mystery.” The University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, and professor added that “People spend most of their time inside and it’s vital that we understand how the indoor environment may contribute to the disease.”


Not Just Effective But Affordable

When compared to many highly expensive allergy control products and services you will be pleasantly surprised to find a treatment that is so effective and yet is an outstanding value at the same time.


So Effective, We Guarantee It!

When the Responsible Care System of anti-allergen cleaning and treatment is used to service the mattress and carpeting in the bedroom of allergy sufferers, it is guaranteed to provide a noticeable improvement in allergy symptoms within three days or the service company will refund the portion of their charges for application of Allergy Relief Treatment only.


“Exposure to allergens produced by house dust mites-found in nearly every indoor environment-can lead to asthma in children who are predisposed to developing the disease.” – Institute of Medicine


“The Allergy Relief Treatment formulation was effective in reducing the concentration of Der p 1 (dust mite allergen) in pooled house dust samples by 90%.” – Dust Mite Allergen Denaturation: A Trial of Allergy Relief Treatment Richard Thorogood, MI Bio., Auckland University School of Medicine


“(Allergy Relief Treatment) was shown to have denaturing effects on Fel d 1 (Cat), Can f 1 (Dog), Der p 1 (Dust Mites), and Derf 1 (Dust Mites) in dust samples containing these allergens.” – P. Brock Williams, Ph.D. Director of Research IBT Reference Laboratory Lenexa, KS


Dust Mite Allergies

Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged creatures that are 0.3mm in length (7,000 can fit on a fingernail) and are invisible to the naked eye.

It is the dust mite feces that causes the development and aggravation of allergies.


A dust mite will produce 200 times its own body weight in feces during its short lifetime!


Mattresses contain 60% of the dust mites found in the home. Given that we spend up to one-third of our lives in the bedroom and are exposed to this highly potent allergen for long periods of time, the bedroom is the number one treatment priority.


Pet Allergies

15% of the U.S. population is allergic to pets and other animals.


Many people are unaware that they suffer from pet allergies. Symptoms include watery and itching eyes, hives, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.


Between 75% and 90% of families with pet allergies do not take their physician’s advice and remove their pets from the home.


Article from the Cleanfax April 2000 issue.

Information retrieved from the Carpet Rug Institute.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are destructive insects often found in the home. In spite of their common name, modern carpets made from mainly synthetic materials are not damaged by these insects.

The larvae cause damage, crawling from room to room and living behind baseboards, moldings, and in heating system air ducts, carpets clothing, and furniture. Adult beetles fly readily and may feed outdoors on nectar or flower pollen. Common species are the black carpet beetle (attagenus megatoma), the varied carpet beetle (anthrenus verbasci), the common carpet beetle (anthrenus scrophulariae), and the furniture carpet beetle (anthrenus flavipes Le Conte).


Identification

These insects vary slightly in size and coloration, but generally are similar and difficult to tell apart. Adult black carpet beetles, largest of these beetles, are oval and shiny black, similar to a ladybug, with brownish legs. They vary in body length from 1/8-3/16 inch. Larve are golden to dark brown and about 1/4-1/2 inch long with the body resembling an elongated carrot or cigar. A long brush of bristles are at the tail end of the larvae.


All carpet beetles pass through the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Adults fly readily and, during warm sunny days, feed outdoors on flower pollen of spires, crepe myrtle and buckwheat. Depending on the species, each female can lay up to 100 or more white eggs, which hatch in eight to 15 days. Eggs laid indoors occur in lint accumulations near the food source, in air ducts, under heavy furniture, underneath baseboards, etc.

After hatching larvae begin their destructive feeding, avoiding light and molting several times as they develop. Sixty days to a year or more may be spent in the larval stage feeding, depending on food and temperature. The life cycle is shorter in warm rooms than in an unheated portion of the house during the winter. In the spring, the pupae develop into new adults.

Usually there are three to four generations per year except for the black or varied carpet beetle, which may have one generation per year.


Carpet Beetles and Modern Carpets

Carpets manufactured today mainly utilize synthetic materials, which do not provide a food source for carpet beetles. In addition, the high temperatures reached in manufacturing are destructive to any insects that might be harbored in fibers or materials.


Wool yarns used in carpet are normally treated with mothproofing chemicals to help resist attacks by beetles. Infestations of beetles, however, should be handled by professional pesticide technicians using appropriate fumigants. More than one application may be necessary, as the unhatched eggs may not be killed by the initial application. If treatment is necessary, make certain that the chemicals used in the treatment will not discolor or damage the carpet. It is important that the pest control firm be knowledgeable in dealing with textile attacking insects and carpet.


CRI Technical Bulletin

Carpet Beetles (04/99)

For more information, visit carpet-rug.org.

Carpet Cleaner or Exterminator?

Understanding what lies beneath your carpet will result in a healthy environment.

We have all seen them at one time or another: grotesque pictures of fleas, ticks and mites that make even the most hardened individual cringe at their appearance.


So, what do bugs have to do with carpet cleaning chemistry? Not to disappoint you, but 90% of the carpet cleaning process is to deliver a healthy carpet. The other 10% is to remove surface soils, which I label as cosmetic cleaning. There are some carpet cleaners who counterclaim that thought, because in their opinion, “how do you sell something you can’t see?” Tell that to an insurance agent and he will laugh at you.


Fortunately, a clean carpet is a healthy condition and is an extra plus in carpet cleaning. The bottom line is that a carpet should be cleaned when it’s biologically soiled, and should not be delayed until its surface is soiled. The prime consideration is that carpet cleaning will be promoted for health reasons and not to just clean a carpet.


Understandably, we all use the title “carpet cleaner” because it easily depicts this profession. Mark my words new title will be used as we roll into the 21st century. Perhaps “carpet cleaner” will be changed to “health engineer.” Most likely, this won’t occur in my lifetime.


Eradicating Microbes in Carpet

Microbes, by their count, do inherit the earth. Some of are good and some are bad. Most are harmless. Basic carpet cleaning chemistry in its cleaning process has the ability to eliminate certain microbes by disrupting their environment. A variation in pH, hot water, chemical imbalance, all in line with conventional hot water carpet cleaning, will minimize the life makeup of a microbe.


Essentially, household fabrics have a city zoo of microbial bugs. I’ve come up with some interesting figures about bugs in general: An estimated 80% of house dust consists of “skin fluff.” What I refer to as “skin fluff” is the broken off skin particles that are constantly shed from the skin’s surface. These keratinized or protein-based cells, which are pushed off by new cells in the dermis layer, a process that occurs about every 12 weeks.


It stands to reason that if skin fluff is only one major constituent, there are other bug attractants in our unhealthy carpet scenario. Free roaming insects that have entered the house, such as flies, mosquitoes, spiders, etc., have either died or left their casings, and will be fodder for some other insect or microbe. This residue will become organic matter that resides almost permanently in the fabric. No vacuum cleaner will ever remove microbial development.


Dust mites, known as Dermatophophagordes pteronyssimus, have been acknowledged as one of the biggest offenders. Measuring in at approximately 0.01 of an inch long, the dust mite enjoys the warmth and moisture of a sealed home–an endless supply of food. Rest assured that this species will have a long and enduring life, until the dreaded carpet cleaner enters the forbidden jungle.


A bedroom could be classified as a kingdom. Frequently, washed pillowcases can easily result in a head count of 10,000 mites. However, poor cleaning practices can easily result in 400,000 mites.


Another zoo animal that many people have encountered is the silverfish, a strange animal that only feeds at night and under the carpet where it’s dark. Once exposed to the light, it scampers off like a swimming fish by oscillating back and forth. Standard carpet cleaning practices will remove it from the premise. Again, high heat along with the proper cleaner will do the job.


There are many methods that can remove various pests of the carpet, but there is one magic bullet common to all carpet cleaners–water. The zoo pests found in our carpet cannot live up to the extremes that hot water can deliver.


Water at temperatures about 150 degrees Fahrenheit will destroy them. Chemicals added to the formula are basically the frosting on the cake that helps in controlling water hardness, surface tension, grease and oil resistance and other benefits. The key factors in pest removal are hot water and pressure. Once they get the heat treatment, they are on the way out.


Questions have come up as to whether soft or hard water would make a difference in pest removal. Neither would be involved in affecting the pests. It’s the heat that literally knocks them out. Hard or soft water importance is based on the solubility of the cleaning chemicals and will determine the cleaning performance. Soft water is based on switching sodium and magnesium/calcium ions that allow for easier cleaning. It has nothing to do with determining biocidal properties on the carpet.


Just as heat is used to purify water from a mountain stream, the same principal applies to safeguard carpet cleaners and customers alike from excessive exposure to bacteria.


About the author.

Joe Domin is respected in the chemical field of which he has developed floor care products for more than 40 years. He is a frequent speaker at conventions, seminars and has written numerous articles. His research efforts have been highly recognized for the last 15 years at Prochem’s Chemical Department.


Information retrieved from the ICS Cleaning Specialist August 2000 Issue.

This article was written to educate our industry of cleaning professionals.

Allergy Relief Cleaning

A New Way To Feel The Relief From Your Allergy and Asthma Symptoms… Guaranteed!


If you’re one of the 70 million Americans that suffer from allergies or allergic illnesses such as asthma or sinusitis you already know how miserable they can be. What you may not know is that dust mite and pet allergen found indoors are one of the leading causes of allergic diseases.


And people with relatively mild allergies can develop very serious, chronic and even life threatening illnesses if they continue to be exposed to these allergens.


Feel the Relief by Reducing Pet and Dust Mite Allergen Levels by 90% or More

There is now a revolutionary new anti-allergen cleaning and treatment program called the ResponsibleCare® System that allows your cleaning professional to safely, easily and affordably reduce the levels of these serious allergens by 90% or more!


Cleaning Alone is Not Enough

No matter how spotless your home, it is impossible to eliminate or clean away dust mites. And most people can’t bear to part with a beloved family pet even though this is the number one recommendation of doctors.


The secret of the ResponsibleCare® System is the use of specialized cleaning agents followed by application of Allergy Relief Treatment™ on carpets, mattresses, upholstery, rugs and bedding.


How Allergy Relief Treatment™ Works

Allergy Relief Treatment changes the shape of allergen proteins, making them unrecognizable to the body, which prevents them from causing an allergic reaction!


Enjoy Significantly Reduced Allergen Levels From Now On

When properly applied, Allergy Relief Treatment provides a residual effect for up to six months. In severe cases, treatment may be required every three months.


Allergy Relief Treatment is Safe for You, Your Children, Your Pets and the Environment

All of the products are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, dye and perfume free, contain Novolatile organic compounds (VOC’s), phosphates or other hazardous materials and are biodegradable and environmentally safe. In addition, the products are derived from renewable fruit and vegetable seeds.


The products are virtually odor free and have been specially formulated for use around people with allergic illnesses and chemical sensitivities. They can be safely and effectively used in homes with children and pets.


Allergy Relief Treatment contains no benzyl benzoate and is not a pesticide or miticide.


Dust Mite Allergies

Dust mites are microscopic, eight-legged creatures that are 0.3mm in length (7,000 can fit on a fingernail) and are invisible to the naked eye. It is the dust mite feces that causes the development and aggravation of allergies.


A dust mite will produce 200 times its own body weight in feces during it’s short lifetime!


Mattresses contain 60% of the dust mites found in the home. Given that we spend up to one-third of our lives in the bedroom and are exposed to this highly potent allergen for long periods of time, the bedroom is the number one treatment priority.


Pet Allergies

15% of the U.S. population is allergic to pets and other animals. Many people are unaware that they suffer from pet allergies. Symptoms include watery and itching eyes, hives, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.


Between 75% and 90% of families with pet allergies do not take their physician’s advice and remove their pets from the home.