The News-Press reports that a Fort Myers, Florida library has been closed due to a bed bug infestation in chairs in the computer area.
The News_press notes that
Workers are in the process of fumigating the building, said Sheldon Kaye, director of the Lee County Library System. A sign outside the library states ‘Closed for unexpected maintenance.’
The bedbugs were found on chairs in the computer area. Kaye expects the library will reopen tomorrow.
“We’re not worried about this,” he said. “It’s something controllable. “It shouldn’t be a big deal.”
I assume “fumigating” is being used loosely here as it often is, and does not refer to the process of tenting and gassing a structure.
Of course, I hope that this isn’t a big deal, though the library’s administrators do need to be aware that traditional bed bug treatments (sprays/dusts) usually require repeated applications, and that all affected areas must be treated.
More importantly, an ongoing plan needs to be made for monitoring the situation: whoever — or whatever — brought bed bugs into the building will likely do so again, and again.
Update (9/16): WINK reports that the downtown library has now re-opened, but also that a second Lee County library, the Lakes Regional Library, is now reported as having bed bugs.
According to WINK, a local pest pro who came to New Jersey for bed bug training is playing the “bed bug blame game,” accusing snowbirds of bringing bed bugs down from the Northeast. (“Snowbirds” are people who live in places with cold winters and come south to Florida or other temperate areas for the winter season.)
Bed bugs are avid travelers, and bed bugs in a resort area may have been brought in by human tourists. Seasonal movements of snowbirds from the north to the south, just like the recent seasonal migration of students to colleges, will undoubtedly move a lot of bed bugs around.
Nevertheless, let’s remember that Florida has had its own bed bug problems for a long time. It’s also a hub for bed bug research and canine scent detection training.