Washington Square Branch to Re-Open Friday, February 15

Feb 15, 2013 08:40:42 AM

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Kalamazoo, MI –

The Kalamazoo Public Library Washington Square branch located at 1244 Portage Street will re-open on Friday, February 15 at 10 am after being successfully treated for bed bugs.

The Washington Square branch was closed on Friday, February 8 when bed bugs were discovered in returned books. The Kalamazoo Public Library contracted Griffin Pest Control to evaluate the situation. On Monday, February 11, bed-bug sniffing dogs were brought in, and while no live bed bugs were found, dead bugs were located and the dogs “alerted” in various areas of the library. An “alert” means the dog will sit and alert the handler of a potential presence of live bed bugs, their eggs, and/or larvae. On Tuesday, February 9, Griffin Pest Control conducted a treatment of the Washington Square branch by heating all affected areas to 120 degrees. Bed bugs are drawn out by the heat and then die as a result. The branch was then cleaned and prepared for re-opening.

The Children’s Room at Central Closed February 15-19 

The Kalamazoo Public Library contracted Griffin Pest Control to conduct testing at the rest of the library’s locations: Central, Oshtemo, Eastwood and Alma Powell. Results indicated presence of bed bugs in the Children’s Room of the Central location located at 315 South Rose Street. Due to the findings, the Children’s Room will be closed on Friday, February 15  through Tuesday, February 19 for treatment.

The Children’s Room will re-open on Wednesday, February 20.

Bed Bugs are a Growing Community Problem: Over the last few years, incidents of bed bug infestations have become a growing problem for all public buildings including: hotels, schools, hospitals, libraries and any other building where the public frequents en masse. Because bed bugs can hide in items like jackets, backpacks and other soft materials, they can be brought into any location and create a new case of infestation. As a result, many public buildings have added bed bug detection and treatment as part of their regular building maintenance procedures.

A library is a less than ideal place for bed bugs to flourish. Because they are night feeders, they prefer sleeping, human or animal hosts to feed from. Since libraries close at night, bed bugs are deprived of the nourishment they need to survive. Bed bugs are typically brought in to the library on human hosts entering the building or in books that are kept on or near the bed of an infected home. As a member of the community, the Kalamazoo Public Library is aware that bed bugs will remain an ongoing issue for all public spaces until science develops a way to eradicate them entirely. For this reason, the Kalamazoo Public Library has established new policies to its current building maintenance program to minimize the risk of infestation going forward.

  • Each location will continue an inspection process on  returns. Materials found to be contaminated will be quarantined immediately and disposed of or treated
  • Bed bug inspections by a qualified pest control company will be conducted regularly at each location
  • Future instances of bed bug detection will be dealt with on an individual basis, and will not necessarily require branch closure.  The Kalamazoo Public Library will consult with pest control professionals in determining the appropriate course of action.
  • Each branch will strongly enforce current library conduct rules which forbids any patron or staff member from bringing in any large bags or other large items, including but not limited to: suitcases, duffle bags, large backpacks, bedrolls, blankets, and plastic garbage bags. Diaper bags and any bags measuring 10” x 16” x 24” or smaller are permitted

Minimize Your Risk of Exposure

If you are concerned about carrying bed bugs from any public space into your home, the following steps are recommended:

  • Upon returning home, remove all clothing and put it into your dryer at a high heat for at least 30 minutes, then put into the washing machine
  • Do not bring any large bags into public spaces; do not leave bags or jackets on the floor or draped over soft furniture
  • Keep books sealed in a plastic zip-lock bag when not in use, and do not keep books near bedding, beds or soft furniture
  • If you do find items such as books to contain evidence of bed bugs immediately seal them in a plastic zip-lock bag and notify the establishment they were received from
  • If you are concerned about bed bugs in your home, contact a qualified pest control company for advice and assistance

For more information about bed bugs and how to treat them, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/MIbedbugs or http://tinyurl.com/MDCH-Bedbugs

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