How to identify Biscuit Beetles & Moths

beetles and moth removalWhilst we are all still focusing predominantly on how to clean and treat areas around the home to  keep things Covid safe, it’s also important to remember that at this time of year when we start spring cleaning and opening windows etc, to look out for other home invaders! 

Do you have problems or have any experience with moth or beetle infestations in your home? 

Are they eating your carpets or lurking in your cupboards?

Most people don’t think to check their dried food for pests as it’s not somewhere you’d necessarily expect to find an infestation. Your kitchen cupboards can, however, become somewhere for pests such as biscuit beetles to thrive, which can cause contamination and health risks, as well as being a huge inconvenience.

What are biscuit beetles?

Biscuit beetles are small, hard-shelled, reddish-brown beetles with an oval-shaped body which is humped and covered in short yellowish hairs. One of our customers has sent in a photo (see below) of ones they had, which were found to be drawn in by birds nests. Biscuit beetles are closely related to, and often mistaken for, the Common Furniture Beetle (woodworm) due to their physical similarities. It is therefore advised to get professional analysis.

These tiny beetles are not fussy eaters and will feed rapidly on pretty much anything, but are mainly attracted to areas where dried food is stored. They target goods such as flour, pasta, grains, and biscuits! 

How to get rid of biscuit beetles

If you notice these little brown beetles in your house, you should take action as quickly as possible. The treatment process is very similar to that of other stored-food pests. The affected area should be thoroughly hoovered, taking care to go over all cracks, corners and crevices, and the hoover’s contents should then be sealed and binned. Make sure to remove and dispose of any contaminated food sources. You should then consult a professional cleaning company or pest control to ensure other areas of carpets, flooring etc are thoroughly vacuumed and deep cleaned and preventative treatment put in place. 

How to identify and treat moths 

Moth shells look like tiny grains of rice (usually left with paper type casings) which are visible on the carpet. They can also be seen behind or inside furniture and often like to feed on wool carpets. This can be easily remedied by thoroughly cleaning, vacuuming and also treating the surfaces and entire floor coverings.  Professional cleaning and pest control can be sought through a company like ourselves. 

Please ask us for more details or survey.

A Quick Guide to Envelope Viruses and How our Products Work

The left hand picture is a basic image of an "enveloped" virus. This virus is enclosed by a lipid membrane (a fat like substance). This membrane (envelope) is used by the virus to attach itself to the host cell and replicates itself. The envelope itself is actually quite fragile, and susceptible to changes in temperature, PH levels and disinfectants.

carpet cleaning against viruses2

Some examples of enveloped viruses are as follows:-

  • Chicken Pox
  • Influenza A
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • and of course, Coronaviruses 

Like most enveloped viruses, outside of the human body they are very weak and are easily destroyed by hot water and disinfectant (hence all the press and government advice on washing your hands!). Needless to say, it is not so easy to kill viruses once inside the human body so never ever consume disinfectant!!!

There are various agents effective against enveloped viruses.  The most common and best one has to be bleach but there is no way we would be able to go splashing this around customer's furnishings and carpets! The most well known version is alcohol and these come in the form of hand sanitisers. It works very quickly but it evaporates so how long it lasts is limited. 

QATs or (quaternary ammonium compounds) take longer to work but provide longer lasting protection. They are best applied and left on the surface in order to kill the virus. They disrupt the envelope membrane, which exposes the nucleocapsid, affecting its ability to infect cells. 

The great thing about QAT's is that you can use these on pretty much all surfaces, so we can pre-spray onto carpets and upholstery pre cleaning and/or spray application to carpets post cleaning. It can also be used on hard surfaces and touch point surfaces such as door handles, floors and work surfaces. It is best applied by misting and not by cloth, (cloths are awful cross contaminants!). In our Envirosafe product we use, not only do these kill viruses but are also great with bacteria, fungi and mold.

carpet cleaning against viruses

WE APPLIED ENVIROSAFE (VIRUCIDAL TREATMENT) WHICH IS A QAT PRODUCT (AS DESCRIBED ABOVE) TO PROVIDE PROTECTION AGAINST BACTERIA AND VIRUSES.

Winter Covid Blog

Following the recent tiered system as set out by the government we wanted to let you know that we have are taken steps to maintain services for our clients. We are instructing our staff to maintain the highest possible standard of safety and hygiene in customers’ homes. We have created detailed Covid-19 cleaning guidelines for both our staff and clients which reflect the government advice on social distancing. We have also taken the trouble to email our clients with specific guidelines set out to COVID-19 in advance of their appointments.

How can you help us maintain safe working during COVID-19?

  • Let us know if you or someone in your household experiencing symptoms
  • Stay in another room whilst your cleaner is working and maintain 2 metres distance at all times
  • Ensure you have enough anti-bacterial surface cleaners and detergents
  • Get in touch if you need advice on cleaning solutions and recommendations – our team will be happy to help
  • Let us know if you are considered to be a member of a vulnerable group
  • Avoid direct contact with your cleaning operative/technician where possible

winter blog

What will our cleaning operative/technician do in your home?

  • Wear shoe covers
  • wash their hands for 20 seconds or more on entry/where no washing facilities are available, cleaners will use alcohol-based hand sanitiser 
  • wear PPE  – gloves (and masks if requested)
  • disinfect all frequently touched surfaces and will pay special attention to door handles, light switches, TV remotes, table tops, kitchen appliances
  • wash any cloths, microfibers, mops and other reusable materials on higher temperatures
  • open the windows and turn on any fans where possible to provide extra ventilation
  • use warm water to dilute cleaning solutions where needed to maximise their antibacterial effects

Customer Services & After Care 

Our office staff have been mobilised to ensure that you are notified of any changes and updates as and when these arise. As a result of the tiered announcement, our office staff are also working from home to ensure continuous and consistent service.

If you are one of our regular customers, you can get in touch on 01795 511945 or send us an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Should you need extra clarification on our Covid-19.

We would like to thank you for your continuing support and above all, would like to ensure you that we are always here to help.

COVID19 – How are we preparing and when are we back?

COVID19 – How are we preparing and when are we back?

We have been receiving quite a few enquiries and have been booking in some clients from towards the end of May. 

We are using this opportunity to carry out training in infection control and update our health and safety, risk assessments etc.

What is COVID19?

COVID19 is the disease which people experience. The symptoms exhibited by the human body which are treated by medical intervention.  Remember: this is a Virus and only the symptoms can be treated. With a bacterial infection, antibiotics can directly attack the infectious organism, the bacterium causing the infection. With viruses, this is not possible. COVID19 is caused by the virus SARS CoV2. This is a new virus which is a member of the corona virus family, an enveloped virus which uses a spike glycoprotein on its lipid envelope to enter human cells, allowing it to replicate and cause the symptoms of COVID19, the disease which people experience, the symptoms exhibited by the human body which are treated by medical intervention.

What can we do to help?

We cannot give any guarantees to remove or kill COVID19 but we can access very high end products only available to professionals within our industry which are proven to respond to other viruses very well, such as MRSA, hepatitis, ecoli. These have very high log kills and can give you added peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to protect your home. We can also give you certification upon completion of our application.

Until such time as something has actually been tested against a surrogate (similar but non infectious version of the virus). We simply CANNOT claim to eradicate this particular strain of the Corona Virus. 

For general cleaning around the home, the recommended solution by WHO would be to use bleach and water to be applied on surfaces, which is very effective, but some people may not be able to use due to allergies, inhalation of fumes and so on. Products we can use are for professional use and we are trained on how to use these, they can be very beneficial and include the following positive aspects:-

  • • Biocidal cleaner for washable hard surfaces • Effective against bacteria including MRSA and viruses including Hepatitis B, HIV and Coronavirus • Approved to EN1276, EN13697, EN1650, EN14476. formulation has been tested to be effective against the following organisms, when applied according to the label directions. Bacteria: Salmonella entericia, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli (MREC), Enterococcus Hirae. Viruses: Hepatitis B, HIV-1, Rubella Vaccinia, Herpes Simplex, Influenza A (H1N1), HBV, HCV, Filoviridae including Ebola, Paramyxoviridae including Measles, Coronaviridae family including MERS-CoV • Pet and people friendly 

The above can be applied to your carpets, soft furnishings and hard floors and surfaces.

What steps are we taking to protect our customers?

We have undergone infection control training, webinars and advice given from our Association and other professionals in our industry.  We are also updating our way of working and looking at our risk assessment procedures.

We are sanitising all of our equipment in between jobs and cleaning the interior of our van and also equipping our staff with the necessary PPE to carry out our job in the usual way.  

We are offering our customers a virucidal application treatment in addition to their usual clean. 

We are checking our insurance meets with biohazard controls. 

Advanced Certification as Members of the National Carpet Cleaners Association. 

We are doing everything possible to deliver a safe, effective and high standard of service to you.

How we are preparing for Covid19

When will be back in Operation? 

We aim to be back in operation very soon but have already taken steps to book our customers in from towards the end of May.  We will of course be guided by the Government on this and also our Association of Carpet Cleaners.

Can you call us?

Of course, our office and email access are still open for business.  If we cannot access your call straight away, just leave us a message and we will respond to you within 24 hours. Just call us on 01795 511945 or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Why is it important to keep your carpets and furnishings clean?

Monday is upon you again and keeping the house clean is just one other task that you really could be doing without! Getting the kids to school, doing the breakfast, laundry and off to work can sometimes feel like a job in itself.

Having been in the cleaning industry now for over 25 years, we take great pride and passion in our cleaning. We love to deep clean curtains, rugs, carpets, furniture, headboards, hard flooring, mattresses and even your home! Basically any area in the house that is causing you concern can be a new challenge for us and we tailor make any specific cleaning service to meet the needs of that individual or company. If you think about it, for example, how would you wash your husband’s white cotton shirt? You would hot water clean it with detergent. Well basically, we do the same but within a bigger capacity. It’s one of the most effective ways to remove soil and bacteria without possible shrinkage to your carpets or furnishings and above all to keep them smelling fresh and keep them hygienic. Here are just some of the reasons why you should keep your carpets and furnishings clean:-

The benefits of using a professional

Being a member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association has helped our business in many ways from providing technical support solutions to networking with other professionals and sharing experiences. It also helps give the customer peace of mind that we take our business and service seriously by investing in the only association of it’s kind. We are now an Advanced Member licence no 1068. We are now heading towards our 19th year and like to invest our knowledge and experience in the carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning to help many clients who find themselves in situations like fulfilling their obligations to end of tenancy contracts to claiming for damage via insurance for smoke or flood damage. This is why it is best to use a trained, trusted and reliable technician into your home or office because using a cheap alternative does not always offer the best solution. It could literally save you hundreds of pounds on replacement or save you losing your deposit in rental agreement for example. www.northstarcleaning.co.uk

 

About Us

North Star was first established in July 2000 with over 25 years' experience in the cleaning industry.

We are a family run business managed by Karen and Gary North and we provide our own bespoke service for every individual client.

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info@northstarcleaning.co.uk

01795 511945

07976 015531 (24hr / out of hours line)

24 Downsview, Chatham, ME5 0AP

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Updated 27 January 2021 - Bookings are now being taken, we are open as normal!