On Saturday, June 7, an insect that resembled a bedbug was found at the Miller Branch Library. The library was shut down and Mayor Jim Fouts immediately signed an emergency purchase order to hire Griffin Pest Control to inspect the Miller Branch for possible infestation. The inspection confirmed that the insect in question was a bedbug. None of the city’s other three branches were closed and are open to the public.
Bedbug-sniffing dogs were then brought in to search the library for the possible presence of additional bedbugs. The highly-trained dogs alerted the handler by sitting down when they found a “hot spot” which alerts the handler to the possible presence of live/dead bedbugs, their eggs, and/or larvae. Heat and chemical treatments have been scheduled for the Miller Branch to exterminate any possible presence of these pests. The Miller Branch will be closed until these treatments are applied.
On June 11, the Warren Civic Center Library Branch also had an inspection by the canine team. During the inspection, the dogs alerted the handler to several areas of the library, including several chairs. While no live or dead bedbugs were found, items that the dogs found have been quarantined, and they will be heat-treated for 3-4 hours at a temperature of 135 degrees by the pest control company. Inspections will also be performed at the Maybelle Burnette and Dorothy Busch Branch libraries.
Library staff is being trained to recognize bedbugs, and staff will be instructed to carefully inspect items for possible infestation when they are returned to the library. If there is evidence of infestation, the item will be quarantined and disposed of or treated. Additionally, the library is implementing a preventive strategy by developing policies and procedures which will include a thorough inspection policy and limiting bags brought into the library.
Mayor Fouts said he has prohibited any donation of used books to the branch libraries because “bedbugs often hide in used books.” “I am also directing the library staff to be on the alert for visitors who might have bedbugs on them,” said Fouts.