Bed bugs found in New Rochelle Library again

by nobugsonme on May 15, 2013 · 3 comments

in bed bugs in the workplace

At the end of April, various sources reported that the New Rochelle, NY public library had closed for a day after bed bugs were found in the building.  The New Rochelle Daily Voice reported on May 1,

“Pest management experts were immediately called in after one insect was found.  This was not an infestation.  There was no adverse impact on patrons, staff or library materials,” a statement from the library said.

According to library officials, a trained dog investigated the library on April 28 and found some bed bug activity in one desk, in a piece of furniture and in a drawer in areas off-limits to patrons.  All three item were destroyed.

The Daily Voice also noted that one day later, “the pest management firm reported no evidence of bed bugs in the building.”

Such confident declarations are normally made in stories like this, where bed bugs are found and a single treatment is done in public places.  However, note that when homes are treated, unless structural heat or structural gas fumigation are used for treatment, it isn’t normally assumed that one treatment will be sufficient.

Bed bug treatments of the steam/spray/dust variety typically are repeated every two weeks until the problem is gone.  And since it’s rare to see a bed bug if there aren’t many present, and since bed bug bites aren’t a reliable indicator as to whether bed bugs are present, pest management professionals (PMPs) often use bed bug monitors to see if the problem persists.  (And if they don’t, consumers will probably want to do this for themselves — see our FAQ on various types of bed bug monitors.)

Today, Talk of the Sound reports one bed bug was found in a staff area of the New Rochelle Public Library this past Monday, that spraying was to have occurred this morning, and the library was to open at 10 am.

Were bed bugs brought in again?

Perhaps.  Or maybe they were there all the time.

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1 Paul J. Bello May 16, 2013 at 6:21 am

Of course there are various possibilities that exist in such situations. I do agree that these broad based comments that assure the situation was well handled and resolved seem likely to be made in an effort to avert public concern. However, one wonders if a comment assuring that proper steps and ongoing monitoring will be implemented would be a better and more accurate assurance.

How these bed bugs got there is of question as well. Note that the story indicates that the area in question is “not a public access” type location within the library. As such, it would seem logical that a library staff member might have broaught them in and/or the staff are now subject to cross contamination of bed bugs. Fun stuff nonetheless !

Have a nice day ! pjb

2 nobugsonme May 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments!

You said,

…one wonders if a comment assuring that proper steps and ongoing monitoring will be implemented would be a better and more accurate assurance.

That’s exactly my point. Businesses are in such a rush to reassure people, but anyone who knows anything about bed bugs will find the reassurances don’t hold water.

It’s much better from a PR perspective to be honest and, of course, if ongoing monitoring is happening (as it should), that can be mentioned too.

It does sound like the bed bugs were in a “staff area” though it’s not clear how they got in. It’s always incoming books being processed might be in a staff area, and of course, they can be brought in along with supplies or by anyone who works in or visits the library.

3 Lou Sorkin May 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

“According to library officials, a trained dog investigated the library on April 28 and found some bed bug activity in one desk, in a piece of furniture and in a drawer in areas off-limits to patrons. All three item were destroyed.”
Newspaper account. There was no visual confirmation? Why couldn’t these items be treated in some way?
“Another bedbug was found at the Main Branch of the New Rochelle public library on Monday afternoon in a staff area. The bedbug was spotted by a staff member who captured it.”
The second time a bed bug actually was found and it, too, was in a non-public area. Was it close to where the other positive hits were on other pieces of furniture?
Staff members might very well have some of these unwanted guests in their homes. Too bad there’s no public education in the public library.

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