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Flea

Fleas – A Pest In The Home

Fleas are very common in the UK and the main way they enter your home is via our pets. Cats and Dogs like to show you what they have found but these are always unwanted gifts.

A common sign your pet has fleas is to look for them scratching and generally a bit jumpy. This usually means fleas are present and should be treated immediately to stop the spread. Like Mosquitoes, they are blood-sucking insects and can cause irritation for both the pet and the owner. 

Fleas pass through four life stages: egg, larva, pupae and adult. 

Stage 1: Egg

Once an adult female flea has found a host and eaten a blood meal she can start to reproduce and lay eggs. These tiny white objects smaller than a grain of sand make it nearly impossible to see.

Once left and the temperature is right the eggs will hatch and form larvae.

Flea Eggs

Stage 2: Larvae

Flea larvae bury themselves deep into fabrics, carpets, and shaded areas out of direct sunlight. As they cannot yet feed on a host they eat dirt from the environment. Feeding on organic debris which is basically dried blood. Once left for up to a week the larvae will spin cocoons and enter the pupae stage.

Flea Larvae

Stage 3: Pupae

Flea pupae refer to the final cocoon stage before it turns into an adult. This can take a couple of days or weeks depending on the conditions. Usually, an adult flea will not emerge until a presence of a potential host is detected. Vibrations, rising levels of carbon dioxide and body heat. Your pet walking past or people moving around the home can alert the flea to free itself from the cocoon and start to feed. The cocoon acts as a protective barrier until its ready to hatch. It’s at this stage that some household flea remover sprays and foggers will not work. This gives fleas a better chance to avoid being killed off and is one reason they return. So when using treatments make sure you repeat over several weeks to insure this stage is not reached.

Flea Cocoon

Stage 4: Adult

The flea emerges from the cocoon stage and is hungry, seeking a host to feed on. Fleas look very small and flat, to begin with, but once the bloodsuckers have had their fill they change to the familiar shade we all know.

So these are the 4 stages a flea takes on its life journey, so imagine this happening 400-500 times.

Adult Flea

Flea Facts

  • A female flea can produce between 400-500 offspring.
  • Fleas live off a host, usually warm-blooded creatures such as Dogs, Cats, and Humans.
  • Fleas carry diseases as well as give a painful and itchy bump on the skin.
  • Fleas can jump 100 times their length.

Treatment 

  • Flea treatment from the vets or pet store is usually the first point of call. 
  • Regularly bathe your pets using pet shampoo and use a flea comb/brush to part the fur.
  • Wash any bedding pets or yourself have used. Air all pillows, and duvets and turn the mattress every day.
  • Spray flea killer on upholstery, use foggers and open windows.
  • Professionally clean carpets, rugs, upholstery, mattresses and headboard.

For some effective flea treatment foggers: Johnsons Foggers

For flea treatment sprays: Rentokil Flea Killer Spray

Hot Water Extraction

Is Steam Cleaning Carpets The Same As Hot Water Extraction?

When it comes to cleaning carpets many people confuse Steam Cleaning with Hot Water Extraction (HWE) and refer to them as the same.

These are two completely different methods and only one is generally used throughout the industry. Nearly all modern machines use HWE as the preferred way of cleaning carpets. The reason for this is the temperature the cleaning solutions need to be at to get the right results. When carpets are professionally cleaned a liquid solution is injected into the carpet fibres and then the machine extracts it all back out. Keeping the solution hot but not too hot makes cleaning, rinsing and extracting dirt from the carpet easier leaving it cleaner and fresher.

Now if steam was being used the cleaning products would not be a liquid anymore and would turn to gas instead. With these high boiling point temperatures, you could run the risk of damaging the carpet and causing irreversible changes. So Hot Water Extraction is the method commonly used.

To add more confusion to this not all carpets can be cleaned using HWE, so it’s very important to test all carpet types before and call a professional for expert advice. Free Quotation

Steam Cleaning

Using a Steam Cleaner or Steaming on its own works great in some situations just not on carpet. Steaming hard floors, using steam for vehicle trims and dashboards, kitchens, bathrooms and other hard surfaces work great.

Using steam vapour to blast dirt away and sanitise at 100 degrees can kill germs, and viruses and can reduce mould and mildew. Better still no chemicals or products are needed, just water.

But for professional carpet cleaning “Hot Water Extraction” is generally the method used. Its effective, safe and will ensure the best results possible. 

vestibule, hall, door-3542790.jpg

Tips For Longer Lasting Carpet

When it comes to caring for your carpet there are a few things you can do to make it last a lot longer. Carpet costs money and to replace it can be a small fortune, so taking a few simple steps can ensure they stay in great condition all year round. The tip here is maintenance.

Maintaining your carpet is key to prolonging the life span. Cleaning, regular vacuuming and placing mats in doorways and entrances really do help.

Doorway and Entrance Mats

Placing a mat inside your doorway or entrance will take off the initial soil from your feet. As you walk in from outside you naturally bring in debris and moisture which can then transfer straight onto the carpet. Depending on the weather this can be little or a lot, but over time can make your carpet dirty and look grubby if you don’t have one. What a doormat does is absorb most of the dirt straight off your feet as you walk in.

Owning a mat can result in huge savings and they can be easily vacuumed, brushed or quickly replaced if needed. You can also get some great designs, colours and enhance the look of your property.

Professional Cleaning

Having the carpet professionally machine cleaned is a great way of dealing with many things at the same time. Stain removal, deodorising, cleaning and a new fresh look are a few benefits of having a professional clean. For more information on this please take a look at our carpet cleaning page.

Vacuuming

Regular vacuuming lifts up loose debris and dirt and stops it from being walked into the fibres. Skin cells, bacteria, dust and other contaminants can form and spread throughout if not picked up. So from a health perspective, it improves air and living quality. We recommend once a week for residential properties and once a day for a commercial.

Removing surface debris not only keeps the carpet cleaner but prolongs the life as particles are then not trapped within the fibres. Carpet that has not been vacuumed for a long time can result in dust mites, mould, discolouration, bad odour and generally looking bad.

Following these simple steps can keep your carpet looking its best for a long time. Saving you money in replacement and ensuring they stay clean and free of contaminates.

Vacuum Cleaner

Looking After Your Vacuum Cleaner

Used throughout the house, the vacuum cleaner sits proudly in the cupboard ready and waiting.

But this working machine is sometimes overlooked in maintenance and can often start to fail or get blocked up.

A few simple steps will ensure the vacuum stays in tip-top condition.

Step 1:

Replace the bag

Seems quite an obvious thing to do but using a vacuum cleaner when the bag is full reduces suction. The machine may sound like it’s working but with a full bag dust and debris just will not lift up. One quick and easy tip is to feel the bag, if it’s stiff and not very soft then chances are the bag is full. Some vacuum cleaners are bagless so it’s even easier to check, there should be a window or clear section where you can see the debris inside. Again if it’s full empty it straight away and you will notice a difference immediately.

Step 2:

Check the hoses and attachments

If the vacuum cleaner is not picking up anything and you have checked it’s empty, chances are it’s blocked. Somewhere along the tube or under the attachments, there may be debris blocking the flow. This will restrict the suction and cause the vacuum not to work properly. If you hear the motor struggling or working harder than usual then that’s one sure giveaway.

Turn off the vacuum and unplug it from the mains or switch off and remove the battery if it’s cordless. Next, check all attachments and clean out the pipes and tubes using wire or a broom handle. 

Once all the debris has been removed and unblocked, replace all the attachments back together and you are good to go.

Step 3:

Keep the filters clean

Most vacuums will have a filter of some kind, every so often you will get a build-up of debris on them and they will need to be cleaned. Detach the filter where possible, some unclip others will need to be unscrewed. Depending on your model refer to the owner’s manual for instructions.

Once the filter is off, clean and dry brush any dust or dirt you may see. Some filters can be rinsed under a tap or washed with soapy water. But do check the manufacturer’s spec if that’s safe to do so. 

Once cleaned and fully dry put back in reverse and job done.

Step 4:

Storage

Keeping your vacuum cleaner inside and away from cold temperatures will help prolong its life. Storing in damp sheds, or outside garages can ruin the machine, especially in winter. Moisture can build up inside the electrical components and short out the connections causing them to stop working. The old saying is “look after your tools, they will look after you”

Additional Info:

Some popular brands of vacuum cleaners can be found in the links below. We will also be reviewing some models soon and seeing which ones are best for home use. 

https://numatic.co.uk/products/cleancare

https://www.dyson.co.uk/vacuum-cleaners

https://sharkvacuum.co.uk

https://sebo.co.uk

Cold Flu

The Cold And Flu Season Is Upon Us

Preventing Cold And Flu

With the weather changing and temperatures falling the flu and cold season begin. Many people are aware of the way cold and flu spreads, through coughing sneezing and other physical contact. However, people might not be aware of germs surviving weeks on surfaces and on items we use on a daily basis.

It’s important to sanitise phones, light switches, door handles and anything we touch many times a day without even thinking. These can be easily cleaned tho with a sanitiser spray or cleaning wipe. But going deeper still, what about fabrics and carpet?

Some reports suggest that bacteria and viruses can last for days even weeks on textiles. These include chairs, pillows, carpets, rugs, sofas and beds. We are all used to washing our bed linen, changing the sheets and pillows, but what about your carpet or sofa?

Getting your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned can reduce transmission and keep the flu and cold virus at bay.

Using hot water extraction, sanitiser pre-spray and chemical cleaning agents combined can kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses that can make us ill. Plus this method also removes stains, spillages and brings back that like-new appearance.

So let’s all stay cold and flu-free at home this year.

spring, spring flower, garden

Spring Carpet Clean

Spring is upon us and it’s time to give the home a thorough clean from top to bottom. Carpets can start to look a bit grubby this time of year due to the winter months. Your entrance, hallways and runners can begin to have that brown line up the middle caused by walking in from the wet outside.

Giving your carpets a good professional clean this time of year is a popular choice, now the sun is out a little bit and the ground is drying up it will get your carpets back to looking great again.

If you need a free quotation please send us a message and we can provide you with a price and how long it will take.

Chewing Gum Carpet

Removing Chewing Gum

How To Remove Chewing Gum From Carpet

There’s nothing worse than coming home and noticing you have just walked chewing gum through. You look down and see a big white blob stuck to the carpet. But don’t panic, removing chewing gum from the carpet is easy. If you’re lucky it may be loose enough for you to pick up with a tissue. However, depending on your carpet type it may have already stuck to the fibres. The best thing to do at this point is to leave it, walk away and come back later.

With fresh eyes, you can now see that the chewing gum has gone hard. With a spoon tap the gum to double-check all of it has hardened and is ready for removing. Now the trick is you need to freeze the gum, by doing this it will break up easily. Some say heat or hot water will remove it but all that does is turn it back to a soft sticky residue that will just become a mess. You want to remove the gum without ripping or damaging the carpet fibres.

There are two options for freezing chewing gum, first is to buy some freezing spray that comes in a can. Most hardware stores or online shops sell this. You can then spray the gum and freeze it instantly. The second option which takes a little bit longer is using ice. Take some ice cubes, place them in a small clear bag and place it onto the gum and leave it to freeze.

Once the gum is cold and frozen you can now begin to scrap the gum, it should break up into pieces and lift off. Using only a plastic scraper, guitar pick or something blunt. Take your time not to pull at the carpet or damage the fibres, be patient and work slowly. If you find it is starting to stick again re-apply the ice or freezing spray.

Once the gum is removed you can now rinse the area with a sponge and warm water. Dab the area not rub, and gently rinse the carpet to finish.

Virus Bacteria Petri Dish

Viruses And Bacteria

What is a Virus?

A virus is different from bacteria as it is simply a collection of microbes made up of genetic material either DNA or RNA. In order for a virus to be a virus, they need to latch on to a living cell in order to multiply and reproduce. You can think of a virus as a tiny molecular machine with a size on the nanometre scale. Viruses are equipped to invade the cells of living organisms, they do this by wrapping themselves around a cell hijacking their energy. While the great majority are harmless to humans, some can make you sick and some can even be deadly.

What is Bacteria?

Basically, bacteria are cells, free-floating genetic material. So on a biological level, the main difference between bacteria and viruses is that bacteria are free-living cells that can live inside or outside a body. While viruses are a non-living collection of molecules that need a host to survive. Many bacteria help us tho living in our gut digesting our food. Similarly, not all viruses are bad. Some can kill undesirable bacteria and some can kill more dangerous viruses, so they can actually be good.

E.Coli (STEC) – Bacteria Mainly Found In Food

Our first example of a common bacteria is E.Coli which sits in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most strains are harmless but can cause serious food poisoning. E. coli is sourced from the consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw and uncooked meats, raw milk and raw vegetables.  Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is destroyed through cooking foods 70 °C or higher. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, fever and vomiting. The incubation period can be from 3 to 8 days with most recovering within 10 days. Cross-contamination during food prep is another main source, keeping cooked and uncooked meats together.

Preventing E.Coli 

  • Wash hands
  • Separate raw and cooked meats
  • Cook thoroughly
  • Use safe water
  • Clean all food prep surfaces before and after use

MRSA – Virus Commonly Found In Hospitals

Our second example is a common viruses strain of Staphylococcus aureus. Common in hospitals, prisons and nursing homes where people with open wounds, invasive devices such as catheters and weakened immune systems. Shared surfaces and skin to skin contact are a cause of transmission. These include sharing personal items such as towels and touching an infected person. Symptoms include small red bumps that look like pimples, bites or boils. Within a few days, they become larger and more painful. They eventually open into deep pus-filled boils. Treatment of MRSA infections is urgent and delays can be fatal. Antibiotics are effective against MRSA and can be given by IV, oral or both. Diagnoses is a lab test cultured usually from blood or urine.

Preventing MRSA

  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Keep cuts and wounds covered
  • Avoid sharing items such as towels and razors
  • Seek medical assistance as soon as possible

SEPSIS – Virus

A life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs include fever, burning, cough, swelling and redness. Sepsis is triggered by an infection, fungal, viral or protozoan. Immediate treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics is a must. Every cut, scrape and break in the skin can allow bacteria to enter the body which is a common cause of Sepsis. Blisters – Do not pop or break them this is a natural protective barrier, breaking them introduces an opening in the skin which can cause further infection resulting in Sepsis.

Preventing Sepsis

  • Keep all wounds and cuts covered and clean
  • Wash hands
  • Look for early signs of Sepsis and seek medical assistants

FLU – Air Born Virus

Influenza commonly known as “the flu” is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. High fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, headache, coughing and feeling tired. Usually, symptoms begin two days after exposure and last for 1-2 weeks. The virus is spread through the air from coughing to sneezing and touching contaminated surfaces. Influenza’s effects are much more severe and last longer than those of the common cold. New influenza viruses are constantly evolving by mutation and cause new variants. The most lethal outbreak was the 1918 flu pandemic called the “Spanish Flu” which lasted for 2 years and killed millions of people. So even tho it was called the Spanish Flu it’s believed that the first cases were recorded in the United States and France by army troops. News coverage at the time concluded Spain had the most cases hence the name Spanish Flu was created.

Preventing Flu

  • Wash hands
  • Keep away from infected persons
  • Avoid touching eyes. nose and mouth

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