26 January 2011

Shelves - problems & solutions

The dark, humid conditions in outdoor cupboards are ideal breeding grounds for dust and house mites.


Outside storage shelves/cupboards: a germ trap

The dark, humid conditions in outdoor cupboards are ideal breeding grounds for dust and house mites. Mites contain a variety of allergens that can cause allergies and asthma. Tetanus bacteria, which cause lockjaw, can also lurk in dust. Although it is very rare, dust can also carry the bacteria associated with tularaemia, an illness characterized by fever, headache and malaise.

Pests, like cockroaches, fish moths, rats and mice, like dark, warm places. While cockroaches may carry salmonella and shigella bacteria and viruses like hepatitis A, rodents can spread the germs that cause typhoid fever and leptospirosis.

Cleaning outside storage shelves/cupboards

Unpack and wipe cupboards and shelves with diluted bleach or very hot water once a month. Take particular care to clean the corners. Wipe the dust off the objects you keep in the cupboard.

Most insects are easily controlled with normal insecticide spray or dust, which can be bought from your local hardware store. Look for products that are specifically designed to deal with crawling insects. Specially formulated rat poison will get rid of rodents. But if the problem is serious, professional help might be the only solution.

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