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Are raccoon feces dangerous to humans?

Raccoons defecate in a common location called a latrine.  Raccoon feces looks similar to dog feces but usually have undigested food visible.  Raccoon latrines can be indoors or outdoors (including attics).

Raccoon feces can be harmful to people.  Baylisascaris Procyonis is a roundworm that uses raccoons as a host.  The roundworm eggs are present in the feces of infected raccoons.  People can be exposed to these eggs.  Children and pets are especially vulnerable since they may ingest the eggs.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the incubation period (time from exposure to symptoms) is usually 1 to 4 weeks.  If present, signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Liver enlargement
  • Loss of coordination
  • Lack of attention to people and surroundings
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Blindness
  • Coma

If you find a raccoon latrine, don’t wait.  Call Bio1 and have us remove the waste and properly disinfect the area promptly.

How do you clean up homeless camps?

Bio1 is proud of our customers for managing homeless camps in a manner that treats the homeless population with dignity.  Customers first place “No Trespassing” signs in the area to properly communicate that the space is not open for transient lodging.  The Sheriff’s department is asked to come give 72-hour notice to the residents on the property.  A written notice is affixed to each camp.  After the notice period, the Sheriff’s department escorts Bio1 to each camp.  If the camp has been vacated, Bio1 can start the cleanup.  If the camp is still occupied but the transient residents are making progress in vacating, the Sheriff will give them additional time.

Bio1 hauls away belongings and waste left behind in the camp.  Shopping carts are emptied and left by the street to be picked up and returned to the owner.  Any syringes found on site are disposed of in biohazard sharps containers.  Open space areas are left in a natural state again.  Paved surfaces can be cleaned to remove any residual smells.

Bio1 can help customers on an as needed basis, one-time cleanups, or annual contracts with fixed pricing.  Call today and let Bio1 help you responsibly address homeless camps on your property.

What is the process for a hoarding cleanup, junk removal or cleanup of animal or rodent feces?

These are all situations that tend to involve more variables than trauma scenes.  Even though one would think it might be the other way around, the types of cleanups mentioned above can all be very different.

Typically when we receive a call, we try to determine how ready the homeowner or tenant is to get the cleanup done.  If they are ready, most times the person calling (either the homeowner or tenant or a family member) is looking for an estimate of price.  We try not to throw out prices for these types of cleanup over the phone as we might be way off due to the description of the problem not being exactly accurate.  This might be of no fault on the homeowner’s behalf though.  Sometimes there are factors you just cannot see until you get into things.

For this reason, we provide free on-site estimates in most cases.  This allows us to meet with people in person, see everything in person and have a candid discussion about what needs done, how long it will take and how much it will cost.

After that is established, we can usually start jobs pretty quickly.  Most times we can start and complete the job in the next day or two.  Most cleanups take 1 day, maybe 2 days to complete.  We usually come in with 2-3 people as more can become overwhelming for the homeowner or tenant.

Throughout the cleanup process we make sure everybody is on the same page.  After cleanup is complete we walk around with all parties involved to make sure all areas have been addressed and everyone is satisfied with the cleanup.  From start to finish we ensure that the homeowner or tenant is comfortable with everything we are doing.

Are all hoarding cleanup service providers the same?

The short answer is no.  There are however different stages and variables involved in hoarding cleanup, junk removal or basic clutter removal.  Sometimes there is not a serious hoarding problem and the individual is best suited to hire a professional organizer to work with them over a few weeks to organize there home.

In other occasions it is more along the lines of basic junk removal.  If there are just a few things laying around that simply need to be picked up and hauled away, basic junk removal is probably best.

Anything more extreme than those two situations, we typically recommend using Bio1 (www.Bio1SD.com), our affiliate San Diego Hoarding Cleanup (www.sandiegohoarding.com), or another experienced and qualified service provider.  Aside from the obvious health hazards of falling or having items fall on workers, there are hidden dangers that a hoarding cleanup crew must be aware of.  This could be anything from mold to sharps to rodents that might get hostile or spread disease.  Experience with these variables is what separates a qualified service provider in a hoarding cleanup from a company that might get themselves hurt or cause further structural damage.

To determine if a service provider is qualified for your cleanup, you can usually get a good feeling of this when speaking with them on the phone and the questions they ask during an onsite estimate.  We ask very specific questions to determine any unforeseen variables and make sure everybody is on the same page when cleanup starts so that in the end everybody involved is pleased with the work and the result.

To determine if your cleanup requires a specific skillset such as ours or if it can be done by a more general service provider, feel free to call us.  We always try to help people out in their best interest.  Even if that means we are not the right one for the job given that it is more straight forward and might be able to be completed cheaper with a more generic service provider.

Which of Bio1 service offerings are covered by insurance?

Most of our services are covered by property/homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance or auto insurance.  Most of these claims involve blood, body fluid and potentially feces and urine.

Unfortunately, the services that fall outside of being covered by insurance are typically related to rodent droppings, damage caused by pets and hoarding.

As for the services that are covered by insurance, anything involving a trauma scene, death or any blood or body fluid spill are covered probably 95% of the time.  Once in a while a policy will only cover certain things like fire or water damage, but most property insurance policies due in fact cover the cost of decontamination and cleanup of any biohazard such as blood and body fluid.  That same insurance also typically pays for anything that might need replaced such as carpet, pad, trim etc.

A situation that we encounter quite a bit is related to when older people lose their bowels for whatever reason in their home.  Much of the time if this is on carpet and padding it gets through down to the cement or wood floor underneath pretty quickly.  This carpet and pad needs removed and disposed of properly and the floor underneath needs sanitized for safety.  These situations seem like they would not be covered, but more often than not property insurance also pays for this type of cleanup and replacement.

If any situation similar to the above mentioned situations occurs, we always recommend the family or individual call us to determine if insurance is the way to go.

Typically the same goes for auto insurance.  Whether on the interior or exterior, auto insurance typically will pay for the cost of decontamination of blood and body fluid and replacement of anything needing replaced on the vehicle.  This all comes down to one’s deductible and if it is worth while to pursue a claim.

Finally renter’s insurance can be used for renter’s who have had their personal belongings contaminated resulting in them being disposed of.  This typically does not cover anything structural but can be helpful for getting personal items replaced or personal items decontaminated and made safe and usable again.

We recommend any situation involving blood, body fluid, feces, urine or anything of the like, people call us to discuss what might be the best way to proceed to get things back to normal in the easiest and most cost efficient manner.

How to handle a cleanup after a death in your rental property

When a death occurs in a property that your rent out, it can be very difficult for many reasons.  Aside from the obvious trauma caused by sudden death, there are quite a few people involved.  Possible co-renters, the families of the renters and the deceased, possibly a property manager and you, the property owner.

Where we specialize is the cleanup of the property.  Our goal is always to complete the decontamination and cleanup as soon as possible to eliminate any further health risk due to the biohazard present and to reduce any further psychological trauma from the scene.  Our recommendation is always to have the cleanup completed first and have the rest figured out after.  The problem that arises here is who pays for cleanup and any structural replacements necessary such as carpet, paint or drywall.

Most of the cleanups we perform after deaths are covered by the property owner’s insurance.  That same property insurance also covers any replacements needed.  The question property owners have then is: who pays for my deductible?  Some property owners, given the situation, are willing to pay for the deductible.  Others are not so willing, which is understandable.  A common solution in the past has been for Bio1 to complete the cleanup.  We then initiate a property claim with the property owner’s insurance.  We take care of as much as possible so all parties involved have less on their plate.  If any further paint or replacement carpet is needed, the insurance company will then contact the property owner to set that up.  After this the property has been fully restored and property insurance has paid Bio1 for the decontamination and the carpet vendor or paint vendor for replacement carpet or paint.  The only remaining factor is the deductible.  Many times the most reasonable method of paying the deductible, if the property owner is not willing to pay it, is to deduct it from the renter’s security deposit.  Typically security deposits are large enough to cover a property insurance deductible.

This is the ideal scenario for not only having the cleanup and restoration completed the most efficiently and compassionately, but also keeping out of pocket costs as low as possible for all parties involved.

For any death or trauma related situation regarding renters or property insurance, we are available 24 hours a day to help anyone try and determine the best course of action.

What to do about rodent feces in the home

In San Diego County we encounter a large number of homes that have or have had rodent infestations.  The first step to mitigate this problem is to have the rodents removed.  That is not something Bio1 does.  We suggest hiring a pest control expert for this part.

Once the rodents have been removed, often times there is a significant amount of fecal matter and urine left behind.  Rodent feces can be very harmful to one’s health and thus we recommend having it cleaned up by a professional.  Most times non-porous materials can be sanitized and saved.  For porous material, if it is something like clothing that can be submerged and agitated such as in a washing machine often times it can be saved.  Porous material such as furniture often times needs to be removed as it is difficult to call it sanitized and safe.  That is on a case by case basis.

For most areas, whether it be in the attic, the garage or any living area typically fecal matter and contaminated porous materials are removed and disposed of first.  After those materials have been removed, we use a sterilant to sanitize the affected non-porous areas.  It sounds like a straight forward process, but each case is different and has many different variables.  This is why we offer free estimates if need be.  We like for prior to cleanup, everybody is on the same page.

Given that every rodent cleanup is a little unique, we are always available to talk and at the very least answer any questions you might have.

Should I hire Bio1 to clean up hoarding or should I just do it myself?

This is a question that folks as me when they have a friend or brother or mother etc that is a hoarder and needs their house or apartment cleaned up to make it safe and livable.  I typically recommend that they either hire Bio1 or at least another company that specializes in this work and knows the risks.  However, sometimes that just is not possible due to lack of funds.

Regarding getting together the money to pay for a cleanup of a hoarder’s home, we never take payment at time of service and typically try to close out the invoice within 30 – 60 days.  This gives families more time to put together the money for the cleanup without having to wait another two months to get the cleanup done.  Also, waiting to get a cleanup done due to lack of funds can lead to the hoarder having second thoughts and not letting the cleanup happen at all.  I always recommend we get in there as soon as possible to get the place cleaned up safely and correctly and figure out billing later.

In regard to people doing the cleanup themselves there are a few factors to consider.  The first are the risks that can be present on these cleanups.  This may be in the form of mold, fecal matter, urine, blood, other bacteria and disease or the simple fact that piled items can be dangerous if moved and they fall on somebody.  Bio1 knows these risks and knows how to work with them to get the cleanup finished safely and efficiently.  One of the main factors to consider is the time and effort a family would have to put in to get the cleanup done.  One specific job lately required 2 of our large trucks, 3 workers for a second story apartment.  Given that we do so many hoarding cleanups we know how to get this done the most efficiently.  We were able to do it in 1 day.  If the family would have tried to do this themselves it would have taken them 4-5 days with their pickup truck, only two of them and improper supplies and experience to get the cleanup finished correctly.

We perform numerous hoarding cleanups each week and due to that we have been able to become very efficient and even lower costs which we pass on to our clients.

If you are considering hiring somebody to clean up a hoarder’s home or potentially doing the cleanup yourself, feel free to call us to discuss it.  We never pressure anybody into hiring Bio1 and simply want to find the best solution for each person’s needs.

What to do with blood or body fluid spill in the home

While it might not happen often, certain situations can arise where blood or body fluid is spilled inside a home. This may be caused from a death, some sort of traumatic injury or from disease that causes blood or body fluid to be discharged. When this happens, it is important to either clean the contaminated area or have it removed.

The question is, when to remove the materials from the affected area or to clean them. While opinions may differ based on experience we typically recommend removing any very porous material that is contaminated. This includes carpet and pad, curtains, mattress, bedding, clothes, etc. The main thing to know with carpet is that typically the amount you see on the surface is at least 5 times more spread out underneath the carpet and will seep back through if you try to clean it. These materials when removed need to be transported legally and safely and autoclaved for proper disposal. This is what Bio1 specializes in.

When the affected area is fairly non-porous such as drywall, tile floors, cement floor, cabinets, counter tops, etc these areas can typically be decontaminated and saved. We use specific chemicals to break down the blood and body fluid, pull it out of the materials and sanitize the area. We do all of this without damaging the area affected.

These methods for creating a once again sanitary environment can sometimes be handled by nonprofessionals, but we always recommend that you call a professional, such as Bio1 to either remove the contaminated materials or to clean them. There are many disease risks associated with blood and body fluid and must be handled appropriately. For any questions regarding the best steps to eliminate a blood or body fluid spill in the home, call Bio1 any time of day for information. Bio1 cleans blood spills and body fluid spills in San Diego, Encinitas, Escondido, National City, Chula Vista, Oceanside, La Jolla, Del Mar, El Cajon, Carlsbad and the rest of San Diego County.

What should you do with the mattress when somebody passes away on it?

By the very nature of the way mattresses are made, they are extremely difficult to sanitize and clean.  When fluids get into mattresses, they quickly get down beneath the surface into the springs, foam and potentially through to the box spring or floor underneath.

There are differences when people pass away on what to do with the mattress.  If somebody passes away on a mattress from natural causes and is discovered within a day or two, typically the mattress does not contain blood or a biohazard.  If this is the case and the family wishes to remove the mattress, it can simply be disposed of as regular waste.

When somebody passes away on a mattress from a trauma wound or passes away and is undiscovered for more than a few days, typically there is blood and body fluid on the mattress.  This fluid is typically not just on the surface, but also underneath in the springs and potentially through the mattress to materials or surfaces underneath.  The most appropriate manner for disposal of a mattress in this condition is to essentially cut and remove all soiled materials from top to bottom until an area is reached with zero blood or body fluid.  This removed section is then disposed of as biohazardous medical waste.  The remainder of the materials can be disposed of as regular waste.  This process should be conducted by a professional scene cleaner for a couple of reasons.  First, typically certain permits and licenses are needed.  Second, removing contaminated material can be very dangerous and the proper tools and training are required to complete the process safely.

Once the mattress and any contaminated materials have been removed, if the deceased was undiscovered for some time, an odor removal process typically has to be completed in the room as well.

These are all services that Bio1 handles on a daily basis and continues to provide ongoing training for its technicians to ensure each of these situations is completed effectively.  Bio1 responds to any sort of biohazard cleanup or removal call at any time of day, any day of the week.  www.Bio1SD.com provides more details, but the best way to have specific questions answered is to call.