Bed Bugs Not Biting at North Haven Memorial Library

The Russell Library in Middletown, where the insects were sighted, now has a bed bug heater.

In a summer where the bed bug has surfaced in libraries in Hamden and Middletown, the word from the director of the is that the library has remained free of any sightings so far.

“We haven’t had anything reported to us,” said Director Lois Baldini on Tuesday.  “As far as I know, there is nothing here.”

The bed bug, which is not known to carry disease, was discovered at Hamden’s Miller Memorial Library last Friday.  In late July, the insect had surfaced at the Russell Library in Middletown. 

“It’s a nuisance. Right now there isn’t any indication that it transmits any diseases,” said Danny Richmond, facilities manager at the Russell Library.  “It is also not associated with filth.”

Both libraries received a visit from dog named Ellie to seek out any areas with the insect before the libraries received heat treatment to destroy them.   The library in Middletown re-opened Aug. 3 and the libraries in Hamden opened Monday.

North Haven’s Baldini, who holds a master’s degree in library science, said that all books that had come to North Haven through inter-library loans from the two libraries were placed in sealed plastic bags during the inspection period, and that North Haven had also stopped sending its books out.    

The books received through inter-library loan leave the library quickly, she said.  “They leave the library the next day or the same day,” Baldini said.

She has also met with to discuss whether the library should receive a visit from the bed beg-sniffing canine.

“We’ve tried everything we possibly could,” she said. “We could bring someone in to see if we have them, and then the next day someone could walk in with a bed bug and that’s how it starts.”

To prevent further appearances of the insect, Russell Library in Middletown now uses a bed-bug heater, a device that holds as many as 100 books and bakes them at a temperature between 120 and 130 degrees.

“I don’t want to lose my patrons here,” said the Russell Library’s Richmond.  He said the library was now treating all books and DVDs that come through its book drop and also using a special vacuum cleaner around the book drop area.  “Quarterly, we’re going to bring in the dog.” 

He said the library was also in the process of getting new furniture that was not upholstered in cloth.

Said Richmond:  “It’s going to have to be quite a change.”

“A lot of other libraries throughout the country have been dealing with this problem.  Movie theaters, laundromats — these little guys, they catch rides any which way they can.”

“In this economy, libraries become popular,” North Haven’s Baldini said.  “We have free WiFi.  We have public computers.  We are busy.

“We’ve been fortunate that we don’t have a problem,” she said.

Dahai Dong August 23, 2012 at 03:26 AM
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