We’re always learning at the Iowa City Public Library and recently we have learned a lot about bedbugs, because we found some at the Library. Bedbugs have been a growing problem in many places, including libraries. After we had single spotting last fall we set up regular inspections – by a bedbug sniffing dog no less!—and educated ourselves on how to recognize and get rid of these pesky insects. Our knowledge came in handy when some bugs were spotted on a recently returned book by a library employee.
You may have noticed some book shelves that are empty, this is because in an abundance of caution we removed all the books from any section where a book was thought to possibly have bedbugs in it. The shelving where the books were have been treated chemically and the books themselves are currently being treated with temperature – bedbugs will die if exposed for a certain length of time to either high or low temperatures. We tracked back the first book and every book that patron had over the last 45 days and they have all been pulled for treatment as well. We also contacted everyone who had checked out anything that had been returned.
We hope this doesn’t happen again, but it may. You can help by letting us know if your residence has been treated recently – often bedbugs can move around within an apartment complex for instance. If you ever see a bedbug on library materials put them in a sealed plastic bag with a note and let us know right away. You can protect yourself by learning more about bedbugs and how to recognize them. There are many good websites –I have visited them! Here are two I found very helpful:
Knowledge is power!