Artificial turf in Arizona is an awesome way to enjoy the benefits of having a lawn in your yard without the high water usage and constant mowing. However it is NOT maintenance-free. Over time, especially if you have pets, some nasty things can find their way onto and into the turf which can pose health risks to your family and pets if not regularly cleaned and maintained. These nasty things can include a variety of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other infection-causing organisms. Sounds fun, right?
Here are some of the more common nasties that can make their way onto your turf without proper maintenance:
- Ringworm – Ringworm, also called tinea, is actually not a “worm” at all. It is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. Ringworm can affect the body, scalp, feet, and groin. You may be familiar with athlete’s foot and jock itch – these are actually technically Ringworm.
- Pinworms – These guys are parasites and they are nasty little buggers. They are usually found in the colon and rectum, and are introduced when a “host” swallows their eggs. These eggs hatch inside the host and quickly get cozy. The females actually will exit through the host’s butt at night to lay their eggs. Unfortunately his is not some horror movie, it’s really what they do. YUCK! Oh, they also spread quite easily.
- Staph – A Staph (Staphylococcus) infection is something you may already be familiar with. It can get really nasty really quick and even result in death if not treated properly. It is caused by a group of bacteria that cause a variety of types of infections, most commonly infections of the skin. No fun. Not cool. 0/10
- Parvo – Parvo is a highly contagious and infectious virus that affects puppies and young doggos. The virus causes an infection in the GI tract which can be deadly if not treated. Unfortunately, it spreads like wildfire among the K9 population and is found all over the place. This one really sucks because it affects puppies. We love puppies. Luckily, there is preventive medicine for this and it is usually one of the first treatments your dog receives as a pup!
- Distemper – Distemper is another highly contagious virus that causes disease in dogs, ferrets, skunks, raccoons, and other animals. There is no cure and it can often be deadly. Distemper attacks multiple organs, affecting the GI tract, respiratory system, and central nervous system. Luckily, similar to Parvo, there is preventive medicine for this and is also part of the first treatments your dog receives as a pup!
Nasty stuff, right? Not to worry! Much of this can be prevented or eliminated with regular maintenance and cleaning. There are even a few things you can do yourself to help between cleanings including picking up poop right away, using a pet-friendly & turf-friendly disinfectant solution on pee spots, and hosing off your turf once in a while (assuming it was installed properly and drains well).
If you haven’t been keeping up on regular maintenance or if your turf has a strong odor, it may be time for a professional cleaning. When we come out for your free initial inspection, we’ll assess the situation and recommend the best turf cleaning service for you to keep your turf in great shape and most importantly keep your family and pets healthy and happy.