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 that the public frequents in large numbers. 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.

The Branch District Library is aware that bed bugs will remain an ongoing issue for all public spaces until science develops a way to control these pests better. Therefore, BDL has established new procedures to its current branch maintenance programs to minimize the risk of infestation going forward. These procedures include regular inspections for bed bugs and treatments as recommended by a licensed pest control company.

As the above video shows, bed bugs are a pest that's been around for millennia and can afflict anyone, regardless of income or social standing. They are also not something you should try to treat on your own. If you think you might have bed bugs, seek immediate professional help from a qualified pest control company.

Helpful Resources

BDL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. I have books from the library, should I be concerned?
    Bed bugs are a community-wide issue that affects almost all public-access buildings including schools, hospitals, office buildings, and more. We all need to be diligent in minimizing personal risk by being observant and not placing personal items such as jackets and bags on the floor or on soft-surface furniture in public buildings. BDL will continue to work to mitigate the issue of bedbugs in our locations to minimize patron contact. We recommend that if you are concerned about materials you have borrowed from the library that you keep them in a plastic, zip-top bag when not in use, and not place materials on or near bedding.
  2. Will the library notify me if my books may have been affected?
    Only in cases where the definitive source of the bed bug discovery is clear and confirmed will BDL notify the patron of the findings. Depending on the circumstances, this may entail a violation of our Library Code of Conduct Policy and a patron or patrons may be asked to leave the library and may have privileges revoked until proof of treatment is presented.
  3. Will the library close if bed bugs are found?
    The Library will try to avoid closing a library branch unless recommended by our qualified pest control company. Most treatments can be done for isolated areas without affecting services and can be performed without needing to close the library.
  4. How do I minimize my risk of exposure to bed bugs?
    Fortunately, a library is not an ideal environment for bed bugs to thrive. They require a sleeping human or animal host to feed from, and they will stay close to their food source. Without nourishment, bed bugs will not reproduce and spread. They are typically brought in to a library on people, on clothing, in bags, etc. We recommend that patrons not bring any large bags or items with them and not set personal belongings (jackets and bags) on the floor or on soft furniture. If patrons are concerned about library materials, keep them sealed in a plastic zip-top bag when not in use and do not place books on or near beds or bedding at home.
  5. What if I find evidence that my library materials are affected by bed bugs?
    1. Immediately seal all library materials in a zip-top plastic bag and notify the location you borrowed from of the incident. You may return the materials to the library in zip-top bags and indicate upon return that you found evidence of bed bugs.
    2. Do NOT attempt to treat library materials in any way on your own by placing them in the microwave or oven. Do not spray library materials with pesticides. You will be held responsible for any damages sustained by BDL materials during a self-treatment process.
  6. What if I return materials that are found to contain bed bugs or evidence of bed bugs (example: living or dead bed bugs, larvae, eggs, or signs of waste)?
    Depending on the circumstances, materials returned by patrons that show definitive evidence of bed bugs may be seen as a violation of our Library Code of Conduct Policy and may result in a patron's borrowing privileges being temporarily suspended. This suspension will be lifted when the patron can present proof that their residence has been treated by a licensed pest control company.