Bed bug shuts down Taylor Public Library in suburban Detroit

by nobugsonme on October 25, 2011 · 5 comments

in bed bugs, detroit, libraries

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.

1 Originally from the D October 25, 2011 at 6:50 am

So…you can’t go home again…

2 Pete October 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

Wow, finally we read a story where the statement DOES NOT say: “We found some bugs, we treated it professionally, threw out the chairs,and …..(drum roll)…….we are now bed bug free!” Maybe the public education of BBs is finally statrting to set in a little more? I certainly hope so!

3 CarpathianPeasant October 25, 2011 at 9:02 am


I suggest you continue to maintain the list of libraries. You might even add some more local pages.

And, yes, I realize that would be an enormous amount of work. But….

Yesterday (as there hasn’t been much new here for a couple of days) I ran a search on “news: bed bug.” What came up was a nice list of media sources + bed bug. I didn’t see anything worth much.

The biggest problem with the whole business is the fact that people do not accept the fact that there is a problem, never mind it being a problem that needs attention. If you start grouping them together that might help in that respect.


4 nobugsonme October 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hi CP,

Thanks for your comments.

I get most of my news stories by searching Google News. So these stories are definitely being covered in the media. I hope we are able to help by channeling many of them into one website. Though, of course, I gave up trying to cover every bed bug news story a few years ago.

(That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not a big one — there was a time when any bed bug news was big news, and we covered almost all of it. Now there’s way too much to keep up with.)

I do intend to create more local pages, but I am working on other formats which will be easier to keep up to date. The problem with a site like this is that every page is always in need of updating, and this is logistically impossible.

5 nobugsonme October 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hi Pete,

I agree it’s a good sign that the library is thinking proactively and planning to have regular inspections.

I do get concerned at times about how much people rely on canines, or how accurate they are claimed to be in some cases, but in a large facility like this and for searching before evidence is discovered or a complaint made, dogs seem like a good match.

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