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Bed Bugs: How to protect your library from infestation


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Bed bugs have spread prolifically in recent years, and as public buildings, libraries can be especially vulnerable. The internet is full of suggestions and remedies on how to kill bed bugs, but there are only a few select ways of being sure they have been fully eradicated. In this webinar, you’ll learn about prevention techniques and treatments that are safe for your collections.

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Bed Bugs: How to protect your library from infestation

  1. 1. Bed Bugs: How to protect your library from infestation Rebecca Shindel Conservator Indiana State Library
  2. 2. • Bed bug facts • How do bed bugs enter libraries? • Eradicating bed bugs from books safely • Protecting your building What you’ll learn:
  3. 3. Bed Bug Facts (There are pictures. Prepare to be itchy.)
  4. 4. Poll: Which one is a bed bug? A B C D E
  5. 5. Poll: Which one is a bed bug? Spider Beetle Flea Earwig Bed Bug -> Tick
  6. 6. The Bed Bug Lifecycle
  7. 7. Bed Bug Characteristics • Active at night • Attracted to exhaled breath (carbon dioxide) and warmth • Can exist alone, but tend to group together for protection and reproduction • Tend to stay in “nest” area and only venture out when in need of a meal • Only attach to host when feeding, then release and go back to “nest”
  8. 8. Bed Bug Characteristics • Can be infected with pathogens but scientific studies have not yet proven they can transmit them from person to person • Can live for up to 3 months without a blood meal in normal temperatures, longer in colder conditions • Eggs are very hardy, but they are slow to reproduce • Need humans to spread to new locations
  9. 9. How do these GROSS people get bed bugs?! • Remember to practice sensitivity: • Bed bug infestations are not caused by lack of hygiene • People of all kinds can find themselves a victim of bed bugs • Nobody WANTS to have bed bugs
  10. 10. Where do Bed Bugs Live and Hide? • Bed bugs are found in all places humans inhabit • They hide in upholstery (beds and furniture), carpet, closets, luggage, books, and also areas where they are unlikely to be disturbed often (behind furniture, pictures on walls, etc).
  11. 11. How do Bed Bugs Enter Your Library? • People • Belongings • Books
  12. 12. So how do you protect your library? TRAINING AND CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
  13. 13. Train your staff to look for and identify evidence of bed bugs. • Presence of live and dead bed bugs • Shed exoskeletons • Bed bug frass (feces, eggs, crushed bodies) • Staining (blood) from crushed bed bugs
  14. 14. Frass Staining/crushed bodies
  15. 15. Incoming book check procedure • Take a good look at the book • Inspect all edges of book while closed: often you will see evidence here first • Look inside covers in the hinge area • Look behind book jacket
  16. 16. Evidence on books
  17. 17. If evidence is found: • Immediately quarantine the book by placing it in a ziplock style bag • Make sure you also quarantine any bag, box, or other materials found with this book that you might suspect as well • Good things to have on hand:
  18. 18. Now what do we do? Decision time: Discard or treat
  19. 19. Treatment Options for Books • Heat: Most affordable option for circulating collections. Zapp Bed Bug Oven: About $200
  20. 20. Treatment Options for Books PLEASE NOTE Special collections, archives, photographs, and many older books can suffer serious damage in a bed bug oven. Mass-market style modern books are okay to put in, but not old, brittle, fragile books! For items that cannot go in a bed bug oven, professional freezing or low-oxygen (anoxia) treatments are recommended.
  21. 21. Treatment Options for Books Do not attempt any of the following: • Freezing books yourself • Spraying books with any kind of liquid • Heating books with anything other than a bed bug oven • Using “vapor” methods described online • Using any powders on books
  22. 22. Protecting your building Preventive measures to protect your collection, staff, and patrons.
  23. 23. Pest management plan • Train staff to be able to spot potential sources of infestation • Incoming books (returns, ILL, donations) • Seating areas • Monitor your library • Bed bug sniffing dog yearly, twice yearly, or quarterly depending on how prolific the problem is in your community • Bed bug traps for furniture items
  24. 24. Questions?
  25. 25. Image credits: Bug Quiz: Flea: Tick: Spider beetle: Bed bug: Earwig: