Bed Bugs' Library Takeover Temporary

DetNews.com
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TAYLOR, MI - City officials don't know how they get there or who brought them in, but approximately 100 bedbugs, discovered by a patron Friday, were the reason the Taylor Public Library remained closed early Monday.

"They were contained to one room," said Guido Ulin, general foreman for Parks and Recreation for the city.

A patron found some of the squat-bodied pests in seats of the computer lab and alerted the staff.

The library was immediately closed, an exterminator called in and the cleaning begun.

On Monday morning, a 4-year-old bedbug-sniffing Beagle named Odie was brought in to ferret out any possible remaining bedbugs, and by Monday afternoon, the 25,000-square foot library re-opened. "We took all the measures to make sure we didn't have any more," said Ulin of the $900 treatment that occurred over the weekend. "We really wanted to be cautious and do it for the safety of our patrons."

Tony Williams, an account manager with Orkin Commercial Services who worked on the Taylor library on Pardee Road, said the bedbugs could have come into the library from many sources.

"(A bedbug) is a hitchhiking insect, so they can come from anywhere," said Williams.

He advised library patrons who fear they may have come in contact with a bug to launder their clothes in hot water.

In the past few years, bedbugs have turned up everywhere from the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to an apartment in the Riverfront Towers in downtown Detroit.The 1/4-inch bugs are reddish brown with oval, flat bodies and are commonly found in mattresses and upholstery. They have been discovered in hotels, motels, dorm rooms and on public transportation.

According to the National Pest Management Association, bedbug calls to pest control companies have increased 81 percent since 2000, and the insects are very difficult to remove.

Some tips to avoid bedbugs include vacuuming suitcases when returning from a trip, always inspecting second-hand furniture for signs of a bedbug infestation and regularly inspecting areas where pets sleep for signs of the pests.