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HHT Presentation: Pests, Pets and Cleaning Practices


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Presentation by Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture, on Pests, Pets and Healthy Cleaning Practices at the Maine Asthma Coalition's Healthy Homes Trainings.

Presentation by Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture, on Pests, Pets and Healthy Cleaning Practices at the Maine Asthma Coalition's Healthy Homes Trainings.

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  • 1. Pests, Pets, andCleaning for HealthKathy MurrayMaine Department of
  • 2. Common Household Pests of Health Concern Rats and mice Cockroaches Fleas Bedbugs House flies Mosquitoes Stinging insects Dust mites Mold 2
  • 3. Potential Pesticide Risks Poisoning Asthma Skin rashes Cancer Nervous Disorders Ecological Disruption Pest Resurgence
  • 4. Reduce Risk with IPM! Integrated Pest Management Recognize pests, pest entryways, and ‘pest- conducive’ conditions Prevent Pests: Corrective maintenance and sanitation. Use multi-pronged pest control strategies Swat, stomp, vacuum them up. Pesticides used sparingly, if at all. Read label, select least-toxic products. Keep records: use a maintenance log book to record when filters changed, monitors checked, etc.
  • 5. Rats and Mice Asthma: proteins in urine and droppings become airborne. Trigger asthma symptoms. Infectious Disease: spread human pathogens such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Hantavirus, etc Fire Risk: gnaw on electrical wires Bite Humans: infants and children especially vulnerable
  • 6. Signs of Rodent Activity house mouse, roof rat, Norway rat House Mouse Roof Rat Norway Rat
  • 7. Recognizing Rat Infestations Gnawed Wiring Burrow and Gnawed Bark Greasy Rub Marks
  • 8. Droppings and nests should be cleaned up, wear respirator or dust mask, vacuum with HEPA filter or gently sweep up after lightly spraying with soapy water to prevent inhalation of disease-causing and allergen particles Window sillMouse droppings 8
  • 9. Look for Pest Entryways 9
  • 10. Inspect Building Exterior Rodent Activity Look for rat runways, rodent holes and openings in walls, roof, foundation, around utility penetrations Wire mesh used to seal out rats must be buried 36” and bent outward at bottom Rats can gain entry through holes larger than 1/2 inch (1.3 cm); mice can use holes larger than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm).Rat burrow 10
  • 11. Snap TrapBait Station
  • 12. Rodent IPM Keep food (human, pet, bird) in pest-proof container. Empty garbage/compost daily. Use pest- proof garbage cans. Seal cracks in foundation, exterior walls, under doors, etc Use snap traps or multi-catch traps Poison baits usually not needed. If needed, use solid blocks (not pellets) in locked, secured bait station.
  • 13.  RODENT-PROOF CONSTRUCTION AND EXCLUSION METHODSo Find licensed wildlife control companies by state/county. Patching materials on 1/4-inch woven hardware cloth backing. Fomofill®, Pour Stone®, Fix- all®, and Custom Plug® are examples.
  • 14. Cockroaches Asthma trigger Spread infectious diseases
  • 15. Roach feces Roaches in Sticky Trap GermanRoach shed ‘skins’ Cockroach 15
  • 16. Roach IPM Tools Gel baitMonitoring Caulk, copper mesh, traps, respirator,Trap least risk pesticides for roach and rodent exclusion and control 16
  • 17. Pest proof food storage 17
  • 18. Dust Mites•Thrive in high humidity (70-80%) andwarm temps (75-80F).•In drier house, dust mites are limitedprimarily to mattresses, pillows, bedding 18
  • 19. Dust mite control•Wash all bedding in hot water (130 F) or weekly in warm (77 F) water and laundry detergent.•Keep humidity low (use A/C and/or dehumidifier if needed)•Electric blanket 8hr/da•Steam clean carpets yearly•Clean frequently: • Vacuum w/ HEPA vac • Dust with damp cloth 19
  • 20. Bed Bugs They suck (your blood)! Can be found in any human-inhabited space but mostly found on and near where people sleep. Reaction varies from none to severe, sometimes delayed (up to 14 days) localized swelling.
  • 21. Why Are Bed Bugs Such a Problem? Biology and behavior contributes to their success as a pest Infestations unrecognized or unreported until well- established. They hitch hike with people and belongings – easily spread. No insecticide 100% effective. Resistance documented to many classes of pesticides. Treatment is time consuming and expensive. requires specialized expertise ($800-$1000 for small apartment, $2000 or more for a house)
  • 22. Bed Bug Prevention Avoid used furniture No used mattresses or beds Keep a clean, uncluttered home Inspect lodging when travelling. Request new room if evidence (bugs or red/black blood spots along edges of mattress) found. Inspect or heat treat luggage before bringing inside your home Ask new roommates/guests to inspect belongings before moving in. Ask landlord to notify and treat apartment when adjacent apartments are infested.
  • 23. Detection and Monitoring Tools ClimbUp TM BedBug (nested cups Beacon under bed legs) (Co2 Monitor) Dry Ice in Travel Mug on Upturned Dog Dish (home- made monitor)Trained Scent-detection Canine Bb Alert (sticky ‘passive’ monitor) not recommended
  • 24. Bed Bugs When Travelling  Inspect hotel bed. Look for blackish spots and/or reddish-brown bugs (poppy-seed to apple-seed sized) along mattress seams.  Don’t put suitcase on bed or floor. Inspect suitcase upon return home. Look in crevices/seams/pockets for bugs. Avoid second-hand furniture. Home Infestation  Systematically search and vacuum every crack/crevice/seam in bedroom. Eggs don’t vacuum - scrape them up. Steam-clean carpet.  Seal mattress in zippered bedbug-proof mattress cover. Place traps under bed legs.  Hire reputable pest control company to inspect and treat (some use trained dogs and heat treatment instead of pesticides). Bed Bug Interceptor under Find resources at bed legs
  • 25. Collect and Discard Bugs with Nylon Knee-High ‘Filter’ in Vacuum Cleaner Wand
  • 26. Who You Gonna Call? Report bed bugs found in Maine lodging to Maine CDC (287-5674) For recommendations and bug identification: UM Pest Management Lab 1-800-287-0279 Schools: Contact ME Dept of Agriculture School IPM Program (287-7616, or Dept of Education. Pesticide questions or list of licensed pest control companies: Maine Board Pesticides Control 287- 2731.
  • 27. Resources (Maine Dept of Agriculture) (ME Board Pesticides Control (Pest Management Office) Bed Bug Hand book. Pinto and Assoc Publ. (Maine CDC) Pinto, Cooper, (Pine Tree Legal Assistance) Kraft. 2007. (HUD) What’s working for Bed Bug Control in Multi-Family Housing. (National Pest Management Assn). Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs.
  • 28. Keep It Pest-Free – What You Can Do If you rent, your landlord If you rent or own should:• Contact your landlord right away about pest problems. • Seal holes in walls, floors and• Clean up food or crumbs. ceilings to• Wrap food and put it in the refrigerator, or in a prevent pests cabinet if tightly sealed. from coming in.• Do not leave dirty dishes out overnight. • Repair water• Sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly. leaks or damage.• Take garbage to the trash area at least once a • Hire Pest Control week (or every day if you have pests). Professional to• Clean up clutter that provides hiding places for control hard-to- pests. control pests• Minimize pesticide use. If you use pesticides, such as bed make sure to follow the directions on the label. bugs and wildlife.• Don’t use sprays or foggers. 28
  • 29. Pets and Health Furred and feathered pets produce allergens (dander, proteins in urine and feces). Feces and urine source of human pathogens.
  • 30. Dogs, Cats, Fleas Treat the pet!  Bathe it and flea-comb often Vacuum…often! Rugs, upholstered furniture, floors. Discard or freeze vacuum bag after each use or use nylon knee-high in wand and discard. Steam-clean carpets Launder pet bedding Spot-on pet treatments are safer than flea powders, shampoos, sprays, bombs. Eliminate (trap/exclude) rodents and other wildlife harboring in/under homes
  • 31. Clean Up after Pets Change litter boxes, clean up dog feces promptly. Vacuum with HEPA vac…often! Keep pets out of bedrooms of allergy sufferers.
  • 32. Healthy Cleaning Don’t dry dust or dry sweep HEPA filters Vacuuming carpets:  A good vacuum will have a beater bar  The best type of vacuum to buy is a HEPA vacuum  Be sure to vacuum very slowly (or use vacuum with dirt finder) Wet cleaning:  Use“elbow grease”  Change water frequently 32
  • 33. Clean to Eliminate Pests• Eliminate food sources and grease• Vacuum • Hard to reach locations and places pests like to hide • Vacuum from top to bottom• Wash hard surfaces and floors • De-grease oven and stove • Two-bucket method (1 soapy, 1 clear water) 33
  • 34. Cleaning for Health Limit aerosols. Hand pump sprays instead Use disinfectants only where needed Avoid bleach. Use peroxides instead. No deodorizers. Mask odors with chemicals. Clean has no odor. Homemade cleaners using borax, lemon juice, salt, and vinegar are often as effective as commercial products, cheaper and less toxic Cleaning Products: Look for third-party certified such as Green Seal, Enviro Choice.
  • 35. Cleaning for Health Avoid anti-bacterial hand soaps and other products Avoid air fresheners Avoid scented carpet cleaning products Don’t be fooled by ‘green washing’ claims. Read labels. Soap and water is excellent cleaning product 35
  • 36. Keep Dirt Outside Five steps to limit tracked in dust  Hard surface walkways outdoors  Outside grate-like mat  Inside Walk-off Mat  Hard Surface Floor  Take shoes off 36
  • 37. Use Disinfectants Sensibly Distinguish cleaning from disinfecting tasks. Choose appropriate product for each use Use only as labeled Limit use of aerosols Ensure adequate ventilation Wear PPE when required on label
  • 38. Keep It Clean – What You Can Do If you rent or own If you rent,• Vacuum or wet clean floors. your landlord• Use a damp cloth for dusting. should:• Wash bed linens every 1-2 weeks in hot water. • Help with pest• Use a walk-off mat outside of your door. problems by• Take your shoes off at the door. sealing cracks and holes• Use “green” cleaning products.• Invest in a good HEPA vacuum that has a beater • Consider hard bar on the bottom and can be emptied quickly surface floors that show dust and thoroughly. more clearly,• Use plastic boxes to store clutter. can be cleaned faster and can• Use allergen-free mattress and pillow covers as be damp part of an effective cleaning strategy for children mopped. with asthma or allergies. 38
  • 39. Informed Green Solutions: non-profit organization provides training and goodresources on cleaning for health.
  • 40. Resources • CountyMaine Dept Agriculture: Extension Office UMaine Extension: Includes free insect, weed and plant disease identification service National Pesticide Information Center