Bed bugs in library books: An infrequent occurrenceBed bugs have become a significant problem throughout the world, and their infestation can affect any place where people frequently gather, including libraries. Bed bugs are wingless, blood-sucking insects that can easily crawl into various articles such as books, furniture, and bedding. But the question is, can library books carry bed bugs?
Can library books harbor bed bugs?Bed bugs have a flattened body that enables them to fit into small cracks and crevices, which makes it easier for them to sneak into library books. It’s worth noting that bed bugs do not discriminate between a clean or dirty environment, and they can thrive in any location. Thus, if an infested person utilizes a library, then the chances of them transferring bed bugs to borrowed books are high.
Erdman’s advice on handling insects in library booksAccording to Anne Erdman, a spokesperson of the Los Angeles Public Library system, bed bugs are a prevalent problem in libraries. If you happen to come across an insect while going through a book at the library, Erdman suggests that you handle the book using a plastic bag that can seal, then inform the library staff before returning the book. Erdman’s advice is essential in controlling the spread of bed bugs in libraries. Bed bugs are challenging to spot, and they can easily escape detection. However, if realized, informing the library earlier can prevent the spread of bed bugs to other books.
Draney’s perspective on bed bugs in library booksOn the other hand, Rebecca Draney, an environmental health specialist, states that although there is a possibility of finding bed bugs in library books, the likelihood is low. According to Draney, bed bugs are nocturnal, and their ideal hiding place is near the host’s sleeping area. However, there have been cases around the world where library books have been infested with bed bugs. For instance, in 2015, a library in Washington DC had to close down after bed bugs were discovered in some of its books.
How to handle a suspected bed bug-infested library bookIf you borrow a book from the library and you suspect it has bed bugs, there are specific steps that you should take to prevent their spread. Firstly, do not take the book inside your residence. Instead, handle it with a plastic bag that you can seal and inform the library staff immediately before returning the book. Secondly, if you find a bed bug in your home after borrowing a book from the library, there’s a good chance that the book is infested. Therefore, seal the book in a plastic bag and inform the library so that they can quarantine the book and prevent future incidents. It’s worth noting that the best way to treat bed bugs is by hiring a professional pest control company as soon as possible.
Steps to prevent bed bugs from spreading through library booksTo prevent the spread of bed bugs in library books, the following steps can be taken:
- Regular inspection: Libraries should conduct routine bed bug inspection to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
- Provision of secure storage rooms: Books that are suspected to have bed bugs should be stored in specific secure rooms that can prevent further infestation
- Notification of infestation: Library users should be notified in case of bed bug infestation.
- Staff training: Library staff must be trained on how to identify, prevent and deal with bed bugs in the library