QA libraries pass Scruffy test: Dog says they’re bed bug free
STEVENSVILLE — Over the past few weeks bed bugs have been found in several libraries on the Eastern Shore. The first occurrence was in Dorchester on Oct 1. The Eastern Shore libraries work closely and proactively together so communication about the bed bugs and closures at Dorchester were immediately shared with all library systems on the Shore. Queen Anne’s County Library had both library buildings inspected by All Pest K9 on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and both buildings were certified as bed bug free.
Other librar y systems have also had dog inspections over the past few weeks, and two systems, Kent and Caroline counties have also tested positive for bed bugs in isolated areas of their buildings. The facilities in these counties were closed immediately and will only reopen once the facilities are treated and re-inspected and certified bed bug free.
Queen Anne’s County Library Director John
Walden said “We understand and share the public concern regarding the recent outbreak of bed bugs in libraries. We are confident that our collection is safe and that our library locations are free of bed bugs. However, library staff will remain vigilant and will continue to inspect materials that are returned to the library.”
The Eastern Shore Regional Library is also being proactive by having all deliver y vans and book bins inspected and treated for bed bugs to prevent any cross contamination between libraries on the Shore. All systems have quarantine procedures in place for items that may show signs of bedbug activity.
Bed bugs are uncommon in libraries. They feed at night on blood, and since there is nothing to feed on at night in libraries, it’s not their favorite environment. They are more likely to be found in hotels, cruise ships, hospitals, nursing homes and dorm rooms. Bed bugs do not carry disease and their presence is not an indication of a dirty home. They do bite and are definitely a pest that the library does not welcome. If you ever suspect your home or a library book might have bed bug
eggs, nymphs or adults, please bring the book back in a sealed bag and alert library staff.
There is no need to stop going to the library. The staff is taking all reasonable precautions and inspecting all items returned to the library. Everyone should check books as carefully as the librarians are. Bed bugs do hitchhike if given the opportunity. They do not jump or fly, but they can crawl pretty quickly and are attracted to carbon dioxide (our exhalations) because they feed on blood, not crumbs or waste.
Bed bugs have an uncanny ability to spread using unsuspecting people and their belongings as carriers. While it is wonderful to live in a community that travels, it does mean there is the risk of bringing unpleasant things home to Queen Anne’s in your luggage. They can be found even in the cleanest fivestar hotels. No one wants bed bugs in their home so it is wise to take precautions.
There are steps to take if you think you may have been exposed to bed bugs. You can keep a clean change of clothes in a ziptop bag and change into those before going into your house and immediately put your exposed clothing in the dryer for at least
30 minutes on high heat. Leave your exposed shoes outside your home or perhaps in a zip-top bag. Other recommendations from the National Pest Management Association are:
• Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
• Check your sheets for telltale blood spots.
• Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
• Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections.
• Never bring secondhand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of bed bugs. Consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation without training.
• Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
• Seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation.
For more information on bed bugs, follow this link to the Centers for Disease Control,
https://www.cdc.gov/ parasites/bedbugs/faqs. html.
Scruffy the cute and hard-working terrier from All Pest K9 was deployed at both the Centreville and Kent Island libraries earlier this month to inspect both buildings for bed bugs.