When Humans Need a Nudge Toward Rationality-By JEFF SOMMER

When Humans Need a Nudge Toward Rationality-By JEFF SOMMER

Published: February 7, 2009
The New York Times
THE flies in the men’s-room urinals of the Amsterdam airport have been enshrined in the academic literature on economics and psychology. The flies — images of flies, actually — were etched in the porcelain near the urinal drains in an experiment in human behavior.

Images of flies in airport urinals have taught a lesson about human behavior, says Richard Thaler, the behavioral economist.  After the flies were added, “spillage” on the men’s-room floor fell by 80 percent. “Men evidently like to aim at targets,” said Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, an irreverent pioneer in the increasingly influential field of behavioral economics.

Mr. Thaler says the flies are his favorite example of a “nudge” — a harmless bit of engineering that manages to “attract people’s attention and alter their behavior in a positive way, without actually requiring anyone to do anything at all.” What’s more, he said, “The flies are fun.”  (Click Here to Read More)

Return of the Bed Bugs!!! by Rob Cloyd, Gem Supply Company

Return of the Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs (called such because they are commonly found in the bed or bed room area) a parasitic insect that feeds exclusively on blood like little Vampires, were mostly eradicated in the developed world in the early 1940s have increased in numbers since 1995.  With the change in available use pesticides, Bed Bugs are now harder than ever to control, let alone eradicate. What was once a pest problem under control in the U.S. is now back as an epidemic.

A number of adverse health effects can result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Bed Bugs feed on humans only when other sources of prey are unavailable.  They are attracted to their hosts primarily by carbon dioxide, and secondarily by warmth.  Bites are not usually noticed at the time of attack, they develop slowly to itchy welts that can take weeks to go away. Bed Bugs prefer exposed skin of a sleeping individual with the neck, jaw line and arms being easy target places to feed.

There are six different stages to the Bed Bug life, (five immature nymph stages and a final mature adult stage).They shed their skins through each stage which is called molting, leaving behind their clear outer shells (called an exoskeleton). Bed bugs molt six times before becoming reproducing adults and need a blood meal to complete each molt. Each stage lasts approximately a week, depending on temperature and the availability of food, and the complete life cycle can be completed in as little as two months. Females can lay between 200 and 500 eggs in their life span. Adult Bed Bugs will try to feed every five to ten days, but can live as long as a year without feeding if the conditions are right and normally can survive for four to five months without food.  Younger instar Bed Bugs cannot survive as long, and newly hatched first instar Bed Bugs can survive for weeks without taking a blood meal.

A Bed Bug infestation is not necessary a sign of poor sanitation or cleaning practices and are spread by the activity of people on the move. They can and do hitch rides in boxes, suit cases, backpacks and on our clothing.

The first step to attacking a Bed Bug infestation is a thorough inspection.

BB3 BB1To be successful in ridding the problem, you must identify the problem and the area of infestation. So it is paramount to know how to identify bed bugs.  Adults can easily be seen with the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, wingless, and are about the size of an apple seed. Immature bed bugs can also be seen with the naked eye although smaller than adults, and translucent whitish-yellow in color. The most difficult life stage to see is the first instar nymph. This is the youngest life stage that hatches out of the egg. These nymphs are so small that they are difficult to see unless they are moving or have recently fed (bright red when full of blood). Bed bug eggs are also tiny, about the size of the head of a pin. The eggs are pearl/white in color.

You will need a few simple tools to complete your inspection, first of all a strong flashlight is a must; other tools could include a screw driver set, wrench set or pliers, and a hammer. Some furniture disassembly may be required.

Start the inspection by carefully removing all bed linens and them removing the mattress standing it up to inspect each tuff and pleat, doing the same with the Box Springs. Next inspect the bed frame by disassembling as much as possible, checking every point of connection, cracks and hiding places, and then the headboard in the same manner. This area is where you are most likely to find evidence and activity.  Next you will need to inspect the night stands, dressers and chests, removing all stored items including the drawers. Inspect all points inside and out. Then move to the chairs, couches and any other furniture items.

Bed bugs are elusive and usually nocturnal (peak activity usually occurs between 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.), which can make their detection difficult. They often hide in cracks and crevices, laying eggs by the hundreds in fabric seams. Signs to look for, include fecal spots (small dark sand-like droppings that occur in patches around and especially in nesting areas), blood smears on sheets and bedding, the presence molted exoskeletons and the little Brownish – Reddish insect itself.  Although bed bugs can be found one at a time, they tend to congregate when the infestation increases. When done feeding a bed bug will relocate to a place close to a host, commonly in or near beds or couches in clusters which called a harborage area, ready to return for future feedings. These places can vary greatly and include bedding and bed area, luggage, furniture, electrical sockets, electronics, baseboards, picture frames and the list can go on and on. You must look everywhere in the room.

Eradication of bed bugs frequently requires a combination of pesticide and non-pesticide approaches.  Pesticides must be applied according to the label and be labeled for the use against Bed Bugs.  Non-pesticide approaches also known as Mechanical approaches, such as Vacuuming, Freeze Treatment, Steam Treatment, Heat Treatment, Mattresses Wrapping and Laundering, can aid in the control of Bed Bugs. All of that said, completely controlling a Bed Bug infestation can take a number of full treatments using both pesticide and mechanical approaches.

The treatment methods for Bed Bugs include:

  • Pesticide Application, with an approved labeled pesticide, following the label directions; crack and clevis treatment and or dusting of all voids, furniture and contents in the area where harborage can occur.
  • Fumigation, Fumigation is the most labor intensive and the most expensive although the most effective. Requires a Fumigation Specialist. Items such as plants, open food and perishables, medicine, some special metals, pets, etc. must be removed before treatment begins. Fumigation of specific items can also be done in a container, such as a fumigation trailer.
  • Heat Treatment, to bring the area up to ranges above 140 degrees. This method has some risks of fire, and can break down the properties of some glues and resins. Heat may not always penetrate all areas of furniture. Items such as electronics, plants, medicine, CDs/DVDs, perishables, art, pets, etc. must be removed before treatment begins.
  • Freeze Treatment, Freezing with carbon dioxide snow (dry ice) is a safe and non-toxic method that penetrates deep into cracks and crevices killing bed bugs, eggs and larvae. Freezing is completely dry and can be used on furnishings, electronics, art, etc. You should disassemble the furniture as much as possible.
  • Steam Treatment, Steam is of course heated water which can be very effective if applied correctly, focus on the carpet, seams of bed mattresses and box springs, drapes along with other furniture. You should disassemble the furniture as much as possible.
  • Vacuuming, Vacuuming can be very effective; because you can remove what you can see, but keep in mind that vacuuming alone will not solve the problem. Vacuuming to include; the carpets, drapes, every piece of the furniture at all points of fabric, cracks and joints. You should disassemble the furniture as much as possible.
  • Mattresses Wrapping, Covering the Box Springs and Mattress with a Bed Bug Cover, the better covers will have a zipper that can be locked and secured. Any bugs missed or hiding will be contained to die and new activity can not penetrate.
  • Laundering, Place all bed linings and clothing from the infested area into a plastic bag and tie it shut, take them directly to the washer, they must be washed in Hot Water and Dried on the highest setting.

So get that Vacuum and Steamer out and don’t give up, and remember to discard the Vacuum bag after each use.

And by the way, boric acid is not effective against bed bugs, because bed bugs do not groom themselves as other insects do.

Rob Cloyd – Twelve Years’ Experience as a Pest Control Operator and Gem Supply’s Director of Business Development/Customer Service.

Tips to Keep Your VCT Flooring Looking Great, from CleanLink

Tips to Keep VCT Flooring Looking Great

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is one of the most common types of hard surface floorings cleaning professionals will encounter.  It is durable, relatively easy to clean, and inexpensive when compared to most other floor types. However, when working with a new VCT floor, maximizing the floor’s benefits will depend on how well it is cared for from the very start.

To help, Powr-Flite focuses on techniques to keep VCT floors looking their best from the start, helping to save time, energy, costs, and protect the environment all at the same time.

“The first thing to do [with a new VCT floor] is nothing,” says Mike Englund, a cleaning trainer and product manager for Powr-Flite. “Wait a week to allow the adhesives used to secure the floor ample time to thoroughly dry and harden.”

He then recommends the following:
Scrub: Machine scrub the floor to remove soils and any protective coatings the manufacturer may have applied.

Chemical selection: Consider selecting chemicals from the same manufacturer; often, cleaners, strippers, sealants, and finishes from the same manufacturer are designed to work together as a system.

Seal and finish: VCT floors should be sealed and/or finished to protect the floor.  The number of coats depends on such factors as the customer’s expectations, traffic conditions, budget, climate, etc.

Burnish or buff: Decide whether the floor should be burnished or buffed; this will help determine the type of finish required.

“The automatic scrubber selected to maintain VCT is critical,” says Englund.  “It’s not only a matter of maintaining a quality appearance, but the right machine can help keep costs down and worker morale and productivity up.”

Additionally, the size of the floor area to be maintained is another variable to consider.

“[For instance], a six-foot wide aisle can typically be cleaned effectively with a 20-inch machine.  While you might think a larger machine will get the job done quicker, it may only offer a moderate gain in productivity and unless it is used for other purposes, may not be worth the added cost,” he adds.

Click Here to check out all Power-Flite has to offer!


Hot Spots for Germs in the Office, CleaningInstitute.org

Computer Cleaning

Hotspots for germs in the office

Think about all the “public” surfaces you touch on your way to work – railings, door handles, coins and tokens, cash machines, elevator buttons and more. Then, when you get to your destination, washing your hands probably isn’t the first thing you do. Instead, you probably grab a cup of coffee and turn on your computer. If you power up before you clean up, all the germs and bacteria that commuted with you are transferred from your hands to your workstation. Ugh! And then, if someone else sits down at your computer, you’ve got all the germs that tagged along with them, too.

Before you begin, remember the two golden rules of computer cleaning:

  • Be sure the computer is off before you clean any part of it – keyboard, monitor screen, mouse, printer or housings.
  • Never spray cleaner directly onto any part of the computer. Spray it onto a cloth, and then gently wipe.

Keyboard: Clean the keys with a cleaning wipe or a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner. Make this the first thing you do every morning before you turn on the computer. To remove the dirt, dust and other debris that gets caught between the keys, turn it upside down and shake gently to dislodge the particles. An air duster is also a great aid in removing all these bits and pieces that get lodged inside the keyboard.

Mouse: It’s also a good idea to clean the mouse before the start of the workday. Use a cleaning wipe or a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner.

Monitor: Use a microfiber cloth, either dry or dampened with clean water, or a product specially formulated for computer screens. If you use anything else, you run the risk of damaging the screen. Clean the monitor several times a week, as a dirty monitor can cause eyestrain.

Surrounding surfaces (including computer housings and desktops): Since there are probably coffee and food stains lurking amidst the dust, use an all-purpose cleaner with a disinfectant.

Printer: Consider how often you push the button on the printer and how seldom you think about cleaning it!

Telephone: Even if you’re the only one using it, it’s still transmission central for germs and bacteria that cause ear, nose and eye infections. Clean it daily using a hard-surface disinfectant cleaner or a wipe.

FREE Webcast on Breaking the Chain of Infection, by CleanLink


FREE Webcast brought to you by  Cleanlink
Sponsored by Spartan Chemical

Breaking the Chain of Infection

Wednesday | August 14 | 1PM ET

Register Today!

In any workplace’s war against infection, the enemy is aggressive, and ever-changing. As viruses like C. diff, MRSA and VRE become more resistant, the proper cleaning tools and procedures are vitally important to eradicating outbreaks. Equally important is educating employees on their need to follow specific cleaning protocols to break the chain of infection. If not, germs spread, bacteria mutate, and building occupants contribute to the problem with poor hygiene habits. The need to develop a battle plan – and recruit customers, end users and occupants to join the fight – is stronger than ever.

This webcast provides an in-depth understanding of universal practices and methods for combating the spread of infection in a variety of settings. The result: a healthier working environment for building occupants, increased morale, reduced absenteeism and greater productivity. The Webcast details:

  • Considerations specific to various types of facilities: schools, health care, hospitality, offices, etc.
  • Why these facilities are breeding grounds for infections
  • Ways to reduce MRSA, influenza and the common cold
  • Cleaning and disinfecting common touch-points, such as door knobs, keyboards, light switches, hand rails, etc.
  • Promoting and practicing proper hand washing
Hicks Darrel Hicks
Author & Consultant
Zudonyi Corinne Zudonyi
Facility Cleaning Decisionsmagazine

Breaking the Chain of Infection


Floor Care Equipment That Contributes to LEED Certification by Kassandra Kania

Floor Care Equipment That Contributes To LEED Certification

By Kassandra Kania 

As the sustainability movement continues to flourish, more custodial managers are demanding environmentally friendly products to satisfy in-house green initiatives, as well as earn credits toward LEED certification for property owners.

Although there are no certifications for floor care equipment per se, by adhering to U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) guidelines when buying or using floor care equipment, custodial departments can help businesses earn points toward LEED certification.

According to media associate Jacob Kriss, the USGBC awards up to one point toward LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) for projects that implement a program for the use of janitorial equipment that reduces building contaminants and minimizes environmental impact (see “Indoor Environmental Quality c3.4: Green cleaning-sustainable cleaning equipment” for excerpted requirements pertaining to floor care equipment).

For existing powered cleaning equipment, 20 percent must meet the criteria set forth in this credit by cost or unit count, whereas newly purchased equipment must meet 100 percent of the credit requirements. Under the new version of the rating system, set to launch in Fall 2013, the cleaning equipment credit will require 40 percent of powered equipment to meet certain criteria, while equipment that does not meet the criteria must be phased out.

“Everything in LEED is good for the environment and the organization, and makes sense to do,” notes Michael Arny, president of Leonardo Academy in Madison, Wis. “If people want to operate their buildings in a greener way, the more of the LEED program they can follow, including the cleaning component, the further they are down the path to making their building more sustainable. And they also position themselves to move forward with LEED certification more easily, if and when they decide to do that.”

According to Bill Griffin, president of Cleaning Consultants Services Inc. in Seattle, Wash., the growing interest in sustainable flooring equipment is being driven in part by LEED.

“The evolution in equipment is in the response to demand from customers wanting to be more sustainable,” he says. “LEED is driving some of this, and the demographic of people running these buildings is also driving this to some degree. There’s a younger crowd coming in, and they’re more aware and have a higher expectation regarding green.”

Although the industry is moving toward greener flooring equipment, Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group in Bloomington, Ind., urges cleaning departments to keep in mind that this is merely one part of a comprehensive green cleaning program.

“Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is one important element in an entire system that ultimately will meet the intent of the LEED credits,” he says. “And that intent is to create safe, healthy, productive environments while minimizing negative impacts on the environment.”

Reducing Water Usage With Floor Equipment

Reducing water, energy and chemical usage are important prerequisites for achieving credits toward LEED certification. Likewise, when implementing a green program and reassessing floor care equipment, cleaning departments should look for opportunities to reduce water and energy consumption.

“There are greener and more sustainable floor machines on the market today that use less water or use eco or hybrid water instead of plain water and chemicals,” says Griffin. “There are also ultra high dilution products where you put a cartridge in the machine and it automatically dilutes the chemical.”

To reduce power consumption, managers should look for equipment with Energy Star ratings, or battery-powered equipment that uses environmentally preferable gel batteries.

In addition to reducing water, power, and chemical usage, managers should look for floor equipment that reduces noise levels. Griffin recommends equipment that operates below the 65-decibel rating. Departments also need to consider how their equipment fits into their green protocol. For example, the decibel level of the machine becomes more significant if they are cleaning during the day when the building is occupied.

“Environmentally friendly equipment isn’t just about protecting the environment, but also the employees using the equipment,” says Stan Hulin, president and CEO of Future Floor Technology Inc. in Gladstone, Ore. As such, manufacturers are paying more attention to machine ergonomics by designing equipment with operator comfort and safety in mind.

KASSANDRA KANIA is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C.

Republished from Cleanlink.com