Don't let the bedbugs bite!

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!

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I am very sorry that you have had to deal with bedbugs in your home. We are very vigilant here at the Library regarding inspections and immediate follow up if a bedbug is observed. Just last week our regular inspection with the dog was completed and no bugs were found. That does not mean that your husband did not take a bedbug home from the Library. There are other area institutions including libraries and hospitals that have had recent bedbug issues, it is an ongoing problem. We will continue regular inspections and aggressive follow up as needed.
Susan Craig

Your bed bug sniffing dogs missed the armchair seating in the magazine section. My husband sits on these chairs while waiting for our son and me to check out books. My husband brought bed bugs home with him from the library and it has cost us thousands of dollars and a great deal of trouble to rid our house of these pests. There is no other place he could have gotten them. We don't travel, stay in hotels, go to movies, and rarely eat in restaurants. You need to regularly clean and inspect those armchairs. We're NEVER going to sit in that area again. This happened in January, 2018. We have hundreds of books in bags that will remain unopened for at least a year thanks to your ongoing problem. We have spent a lot of money getting clothing dry cleaned and bedding professionally washed to get rid of the bed bugs. This was catastrophic for us given the high cost of extermination and sheer physical labor on our part to clean all three levels of our home.