Sanitary Units: what are your obligations?

Keeping up to date with your all your businesses legal obligations is hard.

It can be like trying to balance on one foot in skates, on an oil slick, over an ice field, with an incline, during an earthquake with strong cross winds. It’s super easy to slip up. That’s why were here to help you understand what your obligations are for washrooms.

Many business owners don’t spend much time mulling about what they have to provide as a bathroom for their employees, it’s not on their radar. Pressing concerns like cash flow, expansion and landing the next deal push out thoughts about toilets, urinals and sanitary bins (unless of course you’re in the business of toilets, urinals and sanitary bins.)

As a business owner, the requirements of your bathrooms for your employees are just as important as cash flow. Sanitary unit laws in Australia dictate that all employers must properly equip all available cubicles with a sanitary unit. Under the Workplace Health and Safety Amendment Regulation (No. 3) 2004, in workplaces with female workers, the necessary female sanitary disposal facilities must be in all available cubicles. That means every cubicle must have a sanitary unit. That includes both Womens and Mens bathrooms.

You might be tempted to not offer proper sanitary bins and washroom facilities in an attempt to save money. Despite being illegal, studies have recently showed that employees with out proper hygiene, perform worse at work, feel more disconnected from their workplace and take more sick days. Trying to save a few dollars off your hygiene services can cost your business hundreds, if not thousands in lost employee time.

Fortunately Amalgamated offers cost effective services to ensure that you’ll meet your obligations and help keep your employees happy and healthy. From Sanitary Unit Disposal to Washroom Fragrance Fresheners, Amalgamated has solutions for your Washroom and Hygiene needs. Give Amalgamated a call 1300 383 160 to discuss how our range of premium services help your business.

What to do if you find Bed Bugs!

Incidents of Bed Bugs are on the rise.

Since the banning of harmful DET chemicals, bed bugs have enjoyed a resurgence in the past thirty years, coming back from the brink of existence. Whilst we would normally commend any species that has managed to pull itself off the extinction list, we feel a little uneasy about this one. They’ve been able to return thanks to a few factors, most notably due to recently developed resistance to pesticides and ability to quickly reproduce, meaning that unless you kill all of them, they’re likely to return.

 

What can you do?

Most people often reach for a store-bought bug spray and begin spraying the little suckers. Whilst raining chemical death on the critters feels satisfying, it often leads to more problems, specifically the bed bugs fleeing the pesticide and moving to other areas of the house and infesting their. What started off as a problem in a mattress in the guest room has now spread to the couch in the living room, the arm chair in the nursery and every other crack and crevice in the house.

 

Calling in a professional is the best way to manage bed bugs.

 

A professional will treat bed bug with a multi prong approach. Using a combination of mechanical removal, chemical treatment and heat treatment. Only by using as multi prong approach to target all the bed bugs at once will ensure complete removal.

You can actually do the mechanical process yourself, as one of the most effective mechanical step is vacuuming. Bust out the old dust sucker to pick up the blood suckers. This helps remove any dead bed bugs, their eggs and any molts they’ve left behind, which can attract more bed bugs if left behind.  Once the mechanical process is complete we can come in and use either chemical treatment, heat treatment or a mixture of both, depending on the bed bugs and level of infestation. A professional treatment is the most likely to succeed, given the complexity of treating an infestation. Amalgamated’s technicians are highly trained professional, and ready to eradicate any bed bug infestations in your home. Call Amalgamated on 1300 383 160 to discuss how we can help!

The 5 most dangerous spiders of Australia!!

The 5 most dangerous spiders of Australia!!

 

Do you know all the spiders on our list?

 

Australia, the sunburnt land, girt by sea. The land of the fair go, the fair shake of the sauce bottle. Home to kangaroos, didgeridoos, port-a-loos and increasingly, micro-brews. An ancient land of beauty, desserts, forests and highly lethal plant, animal and insect species. We Aussies love to brag about having the most dangerous spiders in the world, but can you name the top 5 in Australia?

Before we start, lets put to death this one: The Daddy long Legs. No, it’s not the most venomous spider. There is no evidence to show its venom is harmful to humans. We don’t recommend you eating them to confirm this though (although if you ate it and got sick then it would be poisonous and not venomous) Now here’s the 5 most deadly spiders in Australia, ranked from least to most.

5. Trap Door Spiders

Starting off our list is the Trap door species. Their venom is only mildly affective on humans, causing localised pain. They are so named for the burrow they make in the ground, with a “door”. The spiders are dangerous when children and adults are digging around in the garden unaware of the spiders.

4. The Mouse Spider

8 species of the mouse spider exist in Australia. They have similar venom to the Funnel Webs, however there have been no recorded deaths from its bite, largely in part because the Funnel Webs Antivenom has been effective at treating the Mouse Spiders venom. They are often found in burrows and are rarely aggressive.

 

3. The Redback Spider

Noted by its black body and defining red stripe, the redback is responsible for some 2000 bites annually, although thanks to advances in Anti-venom, there hasn’t been a recorded death from any spider bite since 1979. Symptoms of its bite include intense localised pain, weakness, nausea and in more serious cases, convulsions and possibly death.

 

2. Other Funnel Webbed spiders.

Thought you could breathe a sigh of relief because you don’t live in the Sydney area? Guess again. There up to 40 species of Funnel Webs in Australia, 6 of which have been reported to cause severe envenomation. Did we mention they can also live in trees 30m off the ground? Drop bears aren’t all you need to worry about falling onto you…

 

1. Sydney Funnel Web

Oh boy. It’s everyone’s favourite. Found nearly exclusively in Sydney, this spider is often considered the most deadly in the world. With fangs that can pierce through fingernails, and one specimen reaching 10cm stretched out, this spider is serious business. A single bite can kill a human in 15 minutes. It’s venom, Atraxotoxin, shorts out synapses in the brain and interferes with the relaxation cycle. This causes spasm, accelerated heart rates, numbness of the mouth and death.

 

Worried about spiders you’ve found in your home? Flick offers affordable and convenient spider treatments for inside your home and out. Give us a call on 13 14 40 if spiders or other pests are a problem in your home or business!

What do Freshly Brewed Peruvian Single origin coffee, Washrooms, and Pest Control have in common?

What do Freshly Brewed Peruvian Single origin coffee, Washrooms, and Pest Control have in common? Read our blog to find out!

The answer is? Hot Water! Specifically, steam!

Wait a moment you say; Single Origin Peruvian coffee shouldn’t be boiling hot. You’ll burn the roast! True, true, so maybe our title should’ve been what do Washrooms, Pest control and cappuccinos have in common.

So how do we use steam here at Amalgamated?

We have two main applications for steam. The first is in washroom. One of the best ways to clean urinals is with high pressure steam. Firstly, it breaks down dirt and grime like nothing else, including breaking up and washing away uric acid and other dirt that builds up and causes bathrooms to smell funky. Secondly, the high heat adds a sterilising factor, neutralising germs that thrive in damp washroom environments. In fact, regular steam cleaning of washrooms will go a long way to prevent that dreaded bathroom smell become a problem.

How we use in Pest Control is a little more surprising. With phasing out of DET based pesticides over the past 50 years, we have seen a strong return from pest species like bed bugs, who have evolved a resistance to chemical sprays. This means we need a variety of techniques to manage the problem. Enter the heat treatment. Research has shown that bed bugs are extremely sensitive to heat. Temperatures of between 40 to 56 degrees are lethal to bed bugs, so high temperature steam deals with bed bugs like a hot knife through, well bed bugs. Heat treatments are not always needed depending on the kind of infestation faced, but it is another card up our sleeves in the war against pests.

It’s worth noting that the regular store bought steamers aren’t effective at killing bed bugs, you need professional equipment and professional training to confidently remove bed bugs.

Have you got a washroom that needs a good steam cleaning or bed bugs that are biting in the night? Call us at Amalgamated on 13 14 40 to have a chat at how our service can reduce the heat of pests and germs in your life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to remove a tick!

Was there ever a topic in pests that was so controversial? Do you paint it off, do you peel it off? Do you take a flame and burn it off risking skin, clothes and all other flammable items within arm’s reach?

Firstly, if you are allergic to ticks, or have a history of allergies, Amalgamated strongly recommends heading straight to a doctor first, and asking them to remove it. This is the safest option. If someone with a tick bite is already developing anaphylaxis, put down this article, call 000 and get help. Don’t try to twist, or scratch or pull it off. The more you do this, the more of the saliva and other pathogens inside the tick will be squeezed out into the open wound, and also cause the tick to bury in further.

Ok emergencies aside. The one true consensus is that you definitely don’t want them on you. Aside from itchiness and local pain, the biggest risk ticks present is allergic reactions. One hospital on Sydney’s northern beaches released a study which showed of 500 bites that presented, 34 resulted in anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Similarly, ticks have been known to introduce bacterial infections, and other complications. Currently, scientists in Australia at a 2016 senate hearing, report that Lyme disease is not present in Australia. They did note cases of Lyme-like conditions though, that they say warrants further research. But regardless of whether your trying to avoid a bacterial infection, are allergic or not, having a tick buried neck deep in your skin is not a pleasant experience.

If you’re fortunate to not be reactive to ticks, you need to get a spray with ether in it (such as Wart-Off Freeze, Aerostart or Elastoplast Cold Spray). Kill it with a spray, waiting around 5 minutes after application for it to die. You then need to remove it using fine tipped forceps, NOT TWEEZERS. This is critical. Tweezer’s are not fine enough and will squeeze the ticks saliva and innards back into the open wound, leading to a much higher chance of negative reactions. Once you have safely removed the tick with the fine tipped forceps, be sure to wash the wound with soap and water, and cover.

Ticks are a common pest in Australia, especially in damper areas and after rainfall. Fortunately, Amalgamated has treatments available for just about every bloodsucker that is intruding on your home. Give us a ring on 13 14 40, to discuss how we can proof your home from a tirade of ticks!

Is it poisonous? How to tell if a pest you have will poison you!

You’ve found a weird looking bug, and the first question that comes to mind is, “is it poisonous?”. The answer is that if you have a pest, it most likely is poisonous. Why? This answer might surprise you. Most people assume only a few kinds of pests are poisonous. This is because people often mix up venomous and poisonous. Whilst venom and poison are both toxins, venom needs to be injected through a bite or sting and poisons normally are unloaded by something when you eat them. Here’s a nifty, general way to remember the difference. If you bite it and die, it’s poisonous, if it bites you and you die, it’s venomous. Admittedly, you can get sick from non-venomous bites, like an infection from a rat bite for example., but this pneumonic is helpful in remembering the key difference.

Does that mean something that’s poisonous is safe to handle as long as you don’t eat it? No, it doesn’t. Poisons are often released as a defence mechanism when a creature feels threatened. Such as the cane toad, which secretes poison through glands on its skin. This poison can be absorbed through the skin, so if you think something is poisonous, and you must touch it, then be sure to wear protective clothing including gloves, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly once done. Also, be sure not to touch any exposed areas like your skin and eyes before you wash your hands after as well.

Poisonous pests can also be hazardous, as they can cross contaminate surfaces, leaving residual poisons on whatever they touch. This becomes a problem when your outdoor table where you eat becomes a resting point for tired cane toads. This is why it’s important to wipe down surfaces thoroughly before eating off them. Small children are also avid fans of tasting whatever they can get their hands on, so whilst you’ve made sure to wear riot gear when removing a caterpillar, your 3 year old might decide the best thing to do is to put it on their tongue. At Amalgamated, our goal is to provide protection to your loved ones, and to help ensure your little ones can grow up safe and free from dangerous pests. Give us a call on 13 14 40 today to discuss how we can help proof your home from pests.

So, will it poison you? Unlikely if you take steps to ensure you don’t touch it, however, if you catch your cockroaches dragging hemlock across the kitchen, you may want to think again.

3 Signs of Bed Bugs People Can miss!

You Might Have Bed Bugs!

2 out of 3 people won’t develop any symptoms to a bedbugs bite, how can you tell if you have them?

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests in existence. In fact, Anticimex, Flicks parent company derives its name from its fight against the little crawlers. Literally Anticimex translate from Swedish to “Against (Anti) Bed Bugs (Cimex). By the 1950’s, bed bugs had been driven to all but extinction, due largely in part to DET chemicals. Unfortunately, side affects of these chemicals had significant negative impacts upon humans, and as such the chemicals were banned and phased out. Because of this there was a resurgence of bed bugs at the end of the last century, and they have once again become a common problem. Surprisingly, unlike Cockroaches, poor hygiene plays little part in attracting an infestation. Bed Bugs will infest a room that has never been cleaned just as likely as a pristine room in a 5 star hotel. They are also difficult to spot, being quite small, and adept hiders, especially in mattresses. Here’s how to know if you have an infestation:

 

Red Bite Marks

Bedbugs can leave a red, itchy mark behind after making a bite, often on the arms or neck. Finding some bites on your person or someone else from your home is a good, although not definitive start. That said, 2 out of 3 people won’t develop any symptoms to a bed bugs bite. No red marks, no itchiness, nothing. That’s because not everyone reacts to the bite of the bedbug.

 

Droppings

You might notice their droppings, which appear as small dark spots on sheets, mattresses, bed frames, pillows and quilts, and any other areas close to where humans sleep. Regular checking on bedding and sheets will make sure you find their evidence before you sleep in it.

 

The Insect itself!

The final definitive confirmation of a bedbug infestation is the discovery of the insect itself or its exuviae (remnants of the cuticle discarded when mounting). These can quite hard to find especially if they infest a mattress, as they are small enough to get inside the mattress itself. Other hotspots can include behind bedside tables and other furniture near where people sleep or sit.

 

If you’ve found an actual live bed bug,

the time to start treating was yesterday. This is because bed bugs multiply quickly. The best thing you can do is call the professionals! Amalgamated is well prepared to handle all levels of Bed Bug infestations, so give us a call on 13 14 40 to discuss how we can begin eradicating your bed bug problem