Bed Bug Information

Bed bugs have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. When DDT was introduced as a common household pesticide, bed bugs were kept under control. In 1972, the use of DDT was banned in the United States and by 2010, the bed bug population exploded. 

Bed bugs are found everywhere in doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, public transit, schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants, and movie theaters. Libraries are less likely to have issues with bedbugs than any of the aforementioned locations. Bed bugs are not a problem related to persons experiencing homelessness. Bed bugs are a traveling population problem. It is more likely for a traveler to bring bed bugs home with them from a trip than it is for a person experiencing homelessness to be the source of the introduction. 

There is no evidence that bed bugs transmit diseases from one host to the next. They are a nuisance, but are not dangerous. If you are worried about bringing bed bugs home with you, put your clothes in a dryer on high for 90 minutes. Do not run clothing through the washer first. 

The William P. Faust Public Library of Westland has been successfully and proactively combating the bed bug issue since 2013. The library heats all incoming materials for 90 minutes at 126 degrees in special heaters designed to heat library materials. This procedure kills all bed bug life stages, including eggs. The library has Orkin bring in a specially trained bed bug dog on a monthly basis to check for bed bugs in the library. The last Orkin visit resulted in a clear report.

The greatest difficulty the library is currently facing is that of bed bugs being brought into the library by unsuspecting patrons on library materials, clothing, shoes, backpacks, and purses. 

You can identify bed bugs. You may only see a single black dot on the outside of the book and its pages, but on the inside you might see dots and/or blood smears. A bed bugs’ favorite hiding place is in the books’ binding. It is not uncommon for bed bugs to be caught inside of a book and to be squeezed inside either the front or back cover. It is important to look underneath book jackets, as bed bugs consider it a very good place to hide.  

The library is being proactive in combating bed bugs and has the most comprehensive program for the prevention and eradication of bed bugs as compared to all libraries state-wide. It is up to you, the citizens, to take responsibility to help us in this mission. Prior to bringing your library materials back to the library, check your library materials for bed bugs. If you believe that your library materials may be infected with bed bugs, place the materials in sealed bags and notify the library. We want the library to be a place that everyone can enjoy!

Please watch the following video: Bed Bug Basics: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

© 2016 William P. Faust Westland Public Library