Urgent - possible fecal mark inside new book(9 posts)
This afternoon I bought a new book at a bookstore. When I came home I inspected it just to be sure and found a pin head sized black round mark on the inside cover. It was smooth to the touch, raised, but not much. The book has a shiny laminated type cover (not a hardback) with a white matte inside. The mark, though tiny, smeared when I touched it. I then, perhaps mistakenly applied hydrogen peroxide and the mark lifted right off without fizzing. After doing a bit of research, I found a listing for the property next to the bookstore on bed bug registry for an apartment, that as of part way through June, still had bed bugs and complaints about the landlord doing nothing! I have bagged, th book which I will packtite as well as the backpack the book was in and will put it through the dryer. The book had been in my bathroom sink before I inspected it, on my kitchen table and in with my recipe books. Yikes. What should I do? Should I try to visually inspect my kitchen for bugs? Should I vaccum the kitchen thoroughly? I am thinking of bagging all my recipe books and putting them through my packtite, along with the original offender.
In my view the experts will tell you don't be too worried, the little black mark could have come from lots of different things other than bed bugs – for instance it could be carpet beetle poop or spider poop.
Concerning the registry listing, often those are grossly incomplete and out of date, and each address's bed bug status may change from week to week and month of month. Lots of apartment buildings or hotels etc. that aren't on the registry have bed bugs (today, but maybe they won't two months from now after treatments), and lots of ones listed on the registry are bed bug free (even though they weren't as of two months ago when their listing appeared, before they did treatments).
If you already own a PackTite, sounds like you must be already fairly knowledgeable so sure, PackTite some books and the backpack and do some vaccuuming etc. and maintain vigilance as you would always do but try not to lose sleep over this one dot you saw.
What should I do? Should I try to visually inspect my kitchen for bugs? Should I vaccum the kitchen thoroughly? I am thinking of bagging all my recipe books and putting them through my packtite, along with the original offender.
What about simply ignoring a single one unidentified spot in an unlikely place?
Why do you think it is unlikely? I ask only because I have been on this and other sites which talk about people being exposed to BBs via infested books that they borrowed from the library or purchased from a store which was infested. Has that all been too much paranoia & hype? Is it very unlikely for BBs to harbor in books and thus, hitch a ride home?
Why do you think it is unlikely?
Because they don't harbourage inside books.
More than this, a single one black mark doesn't mean that it's BBs related or that it's a sign that the book is infested....
I've seen infested books, of course. But BBs tend to hide between hardback and spine, or between pages if some page corners are folded.
Generally you find them in the space between books and wall (or shelf).
EEEEEKK! Thank you for the photo. It was very helpful as I admittedly have been avoiding the librar/bookstores like the plague!
Thanks EffeCi. What do you mean hide between hardback and spine?
To put the issue of books into perspective, I have entered countless homes and rarely find an infected book. When I have encountered them the faecal deposits are almost always on the page ends close to the spine of the book and then only in heavy infestations where the books are piled up around the bed area.
Only on 2 or 3 of the 20,000+ cases we have done has the source been tracked back to a book, once from a second hand source, once from a loaned library book and once from a book given away by a library (the 1811 copy of Statutes at large of England and of Great Britain Vol II covering Henry VIII to Charles I (I will try and get time to take some pictures).
If you are using a library a quick 30 seconds inspection of the closed book will normally reveal any signs, if you see any please don't put the book back but speak to the library staff about your find.
Hope that helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
Thanks David! That's really helpful to keep things in perspective
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