Our precious home is the safest place our kids could ever be in, but that doesn't mean they are really safe from everything. There are microscopic creatures lurking in corners of the house, in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and most especially on the floor. These germs cannot be seen by the naked eye and that masks the dangers they pose every day.
The bacteria listed in this article can come from pets and other places in the house, but eventually, they could end up on the floor as well, and only the best hardwood cleaners can help you keep your flooring clean. Here are 10 types of bacteria that could be in our house at this very moment.
Bacteria are classified into two main groups, but they can also be divided into seven types and most of them are in four of these types, namely the gram-positive bacilli, gram-negative bacilli, gram-positive cocci, and gram-negative cocci. Pseudomonas is a gram-positive bacterium and is predominant in places like hospitals and public pools. But it can also thrive in moist places in the house like bathrooms, sinks, and the kitchen. It's generally contracted through hand contact, so let's be careful the next time we wash our sinks, kitchens, and bathroom. Pseudomonas illnesses are treatable and not fatal to a healthy person, but still, after cleaning, wash those hands like a surgeon before touching your little babies.
9 Bartonella Henselae
One example of a gram-negative bacteria is Bartonella henselae. In layman terms, it is called the cat-scratch disease. Imagine a kid playing on the floor and they accidentally step on the cat's tail, the instinct of the cat is to defend itself, so the kid might get scratched. This is how the bacteria is transmitted. Bartonella henselae is actually more common in kittens, but the symptoms are not fatal and just goes away over time with no lasting or long-term effects. Headache, fever, and tiredness are some of the symptoms. If it happens, consult a doctor.
Bacteria can come from anywhere, and it could get inside our house and down onto the floor where our kids run barefoot, crawl, and play. E-coli is a common bacteria, and there is a strain of it that is dangerous to humans. It travels in vegetables, raw meat (beef), contaminated water, and even handshakes. People with weak immune systems are more likely to get sick with e-coli; this includes older adults and young kids. Complications could lead to kidney failure. But it's easy to avoid this, by cleaning fresh produce and raw beef and storing them in places where they won’t spoil or be reached by our kids.
Micrococcus is another gram-positive bacteria that can be found anywhere. They're found on human skin, in both saltwater and freshwater, dust, even on surfaces like floors. It is usually neutralized with antibiotics like penicillin and vancomycin, the usual medications for people infected with this strain of bacteria. Micrococcus is also destroyed by most disinfectants, alcohol, formaldehyde, and iodine. Since it's present on human skin and is transmitted through surfaces, let's try to clean places where we are most often, like desks, tables and office spaces in the house. Computer desks and laptop keyboards need to be disinfected periodically, too.
6 Chlamydophila Psittaci
Parrot fever is the common term for the infection called psittacosis. The guilty bacterium, in this case, is chlamydophila psittaci. It is usually contracted from birds, and that includes the pet birds we may have in our homes. A simple accidental touching of the bird feces could get a person infected. It can also be contracted if the dust from the birdcage becomes airborne and lands on the floor. Pigeons could be carriers (pardon the pun) and also pet birds like macaws and other species of parrots. A regularly cleaned birdcage could avoid all this contamination.
You might be familiar with lactobacillus; it's present in some yogurt treats and the Japanese probiotic milk Yakult. These are good bacteria and could help with digestion. But there are strains of bacillus that are harmful to people, like bacillus cereus. Anthrax is probably the most notorious disease caused by bacillus bacteria. This bacterium can cause meningitis, wound infections and ear infections. It can be found in soil, in the backyard or the garden. Improper storage of food can also be contaminated with bacillus cereus, but the effects are not fatal, just some nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (which is bad enough).
4 Rickettsia rickettsii
If we, or anyone in the household, experience rashes, fever and headache, it's probably not serious. But if we have dogs in the house, there's also a chance that it could be symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There's no need to get rid of the dogs, it's not their fault. The culprit is a bacteria strain called rickettsia rickettsii, and it's carried by ticks that could be living on our canine pets. This illness could be deadly if not treated early, but antibiotics could kill the bacteria. Let's make sure our dogs are well-groomed to avoid the rickettsia rickettsii bacteria.
Molds and yeasts are technically not bacteria; they are fungi. But they are too common inside the house that we can't let them slip out with a technicality. All species of mold, if inhaled in large quantities or regularly, could give the person a world of pain. It causes a runny nose, headaches, sore throat, fatigue, and can prompt asthma attacks. Stachybotrys, or black mold, is the deadliest, and they mostly thrive in areas with a lot of moisture. Damp and humid environments are their playground, corners in the house, inside cabinets, and such places. Let's get some mold cleaner and clean these places in our home.
We know it as staph or staph infection and the bacteria responsible for this disease is staphylococcus. Staphylococcus is another gram-positive bacteria that resides usually on human skin, including the areas around our mouth and nose. Look for inflammation for signs of staph, like swelling, redness, and pain in and around the infected area. It easily spreads skin to skin, but can also be contracted through surfaces and objects in the house, like doorknobs or the remote control. The best way to avoid this bacteria is to clean our hands frequently, simple and easy. If we have wounds, clean them and cover them.
1 Capnocytophaga Canimorsus
This bacteria is doubly dangerous because it can be contracted through both dogs and cats. It's called capnocytophaga canimorsus and it resides in the mouth of our cute pet felines and canines. An infected dog or cat can easily infect their owner with a bite, a lick, and even close contact. This can be detected in pets when we go to the vet and have them tested. But it doesn't mean that they won't have it in the future if they tested negative now. Let's just watch for symptoms like diarrhea or stomach pain, fever, headache, vomiting and/or muscle pain.