WXYZ reports that the Taylor Public Library (Taylor, Michigan) closed for part of Monday for bed bug treatment and canine inspection, after a single bed bug was found in the library’s computer room.
(You can view the video on WXYZ if it does not appear above.)
Another story by WDIV cited a library representative saying that
“We shut the library just to be safe because it is a 25,000-square-foot building,” said library general foreman Guido Ulin. “We didn’t want to just do a total manual inspection. He suggested we bring the dog out.”
Dogs can be helpful, but a search result may not be accurate. Consumers should be aware that recent research suggests canine scent detection teams are not quite as accurate as previously thought.
I am no expert on canine scent detection, but wouldn’t the claim that a particular team is 97% accurate (as was claimed by an Orkin representative in this WDIV story) be a difficult one to prove in the field — where the handler is unlikely to be certain when false positive or false negative assessments occur?
We recommend in our FAQ on canine scent detection that anyone hiring a canine scent detection team asks the handler to “Show me the bugs!” (to quote entomologist Michael Potter) by performing a visual inspection after any positive canine alerts.
Finding visual evidence of bed bugs can rule out false positive alerts.
While canine scent detection is not 100% accurate, getting the 25,000 square foot library searched once a month by a canine team certainly can’t hurt. It’s to their credit that the library is attempting to ensure the library detects any future bed bug problems.
Your thoughts? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!
You may also be interested in additional stories about bed bugs in libraries.