You asked, so we asked: Local library battles bed bugs

Jana emailed us wondering if we knew anything about a “pest” problem that she said had closed the book drop at High Point Library for a while, and led to an early closure of the entire branch on Tuesday. So we asked Seattle Public Library for details. Here’s what we heard back from SPL spokesperson Laura Gentry:

Staff at the High Point Branch discovered a bed bug issue two weeks ago in the book drop and around the computer area, which they believe (but is hard to confirm) to be an isolated situation involving a single patron. Staff locked the book drops, quarantined computers, discarded or quarantined impacted materials as appropriate, sanitized book bins, cleaned the impacted computer area, and have been in conversation with the patron.

After containment and cleaning, staff have not seen additional bedbugs for over a week. The book drop has reopened.

The Library conducted a chemical treatment of the branch on Tuesday evening as a precautionary measure. It is considered safe to enter the treated space two hours after chemical treatment, but we let the branch sit overnight as another extra precaution. The pest control company we are working with will return at the end of the month to examine the branch and ensure the issue is fully resolved.

The Library has an integrated pest management program to prevent and contain bed bugs and other pests we might encounter in or around our facilities. Elements of the program include education, good housekeeping, regular inspections, professional custodial practices and immediate response to sightings. These efforts play a vital role in reducing the chance of a major infestation.

Thanks for the question from your reader.

Don’t know much about bed bugs? Read this.

4 Replies to "You asked, so we asked: Local library battles bed bugs"

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench May 18, 2023 (9:38 pm)

    Ummm – can the patron be asked to go through the sheep dip, before walking into the library ?

  • flimflam May 19, 2023 (8:34 am)

    I wonder how they could pinpoint the person that brought them?

    • Henry May 19, 2023 (11:10 am)

      They were probably infesting a book the patron returned. 

      • flimflam May 19, 2023 (4:00 pm)

        Makes me itchy just thinking about it!

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