It’s a new year! Who has been to your home since Thanksgiving – more relatives, friends, children, dogs, cats and maybe some people you don’t even know? Your floors were being attacked before the holidays!

Most of us don’t make our floors a priority, yet we use them every single day. While they’re routinely ignored, they collect all kinds of garbage we can’t always see. Is it time to replace your floors? Cleaning overdue? We wonder why our kids are sick. Have yours been playing on the floor recently? Anybody developing allergies in your house?

Name the substance -wine, soda, beer, cake, cookies, crumbs, food in general, mud, snow, rain, dirt, grease, urine, blood not to mention animal feces ALL live there – yuck. If a professional black light was illuminated in your home, you wouldn’t believe the findings. Bacteria can live after four weeks on carpet. Thanks to “microbial adhesion”, germs can be transferred to food! That nasty bacterium can cause horrible diarrhea and vomiting.

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Bed bugs can live in carpet fibers and wooden floorboards. Due to their size and the fact that they crawl fast, they obtain a blood meal from you while you’re sleeping and you don’t even know you’ve been bitten! If you have carpet near a warm fireplace, it’s a perfect place for a little creature called a “firebrat”. They’re mostly active at night but make their home in your warm carpet. Caterpillars can use carpet fibers to make a cocoon and make a nice little home for themselves.

Did you know that the average person sheds about 1.5 million skin flakes per hour and most of it becomes embedded in our carpets? Since the holidays, how many skin flakes are in your carpets? Dust mites are probably thriving in your warm carpet, eating those dead skin flakes. While they nest in your dust-collecting carpet and mix with all that airborne dust, they become allergy culprits. (Did you know 43 million tons of dust falls over the U.S. every year?)

Just because you’ve decided to buy a steam machine to clean the carpets yourself, doesn’t mean they’ll do the job. I could write another column all about do-it-yourself methods. Please! Make the investment in your home and family. Clean your slate and leave it to the professionals.

Have a healthy 2013!