September 30, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robyn Truslow
Late Friday, September 23, the library was able to identify the household that was returning books to the Calvert Library Prince Frederick book drop that contained evidence of bed bugs. The individual was quick to agree to take action. His household will not be using the library buildings until their landlord has taken care of the bedbug situation in their home. Any materials they have are being isolated and treated. Library staff breathed a short sigh of relief and then quickly went to work sorting out what other books may have been in the home, checking the shelves and contacting anyone who may have checked the books out after that. All individuals contacted were calm, understanding and sympathetic.
A few of the people that Director Carrie Plymire contacted did find possible bedbug evidence but fortunately no live bugs or eggs. To be safe, the library asked those customers to return their items in zip-top bags and sent them information about how to identify bed bugs and what to do if you find them. Calvert Library met with an exterminator on Monday, September 26, and a canine certified in bedbug detection visited each location on Wednesday, September 28. Barker Lewis, part Border Collie and part Greyhound, was the canine completing the inspections at each library location and he found no live bed bugs. According to observers, he was extremely focused, professional and thorough.
Bed bugs have an uncanny ability to spread using unsuspecting people and their belongings as carriers. While it is wonderful to live in a community that travels, it does mean there is the risk of bringing unpleasant things home to Calvert in your luggage. They can be found even in the cleanest five-star hotels. No one wants bed bugs in their home and since they are clearly in Calvert County, it is wise to take precautions. It seems we must all be vigilant. There is no need to stop going to the library, after all, the staff is there 61 hours a week, touching books all day and they are not afraid. Everyone should check books as carefully as the librarians are. Bed bugs do hitchhike if given the opportunity. They do not jump or fly but they can crawl pretty quickly and are attracted to carbon dioxide (our exhalations) because they feed on blood, not crumbs or waste.
There are steps to take if you think you may have been exposed to bed bugs. You can keep a clean change of clothes in a zip-top bag and change into those before going into your house and immediately put your exposed clothing in the dryer for at least 30 minutes on high heat. Leave your exposed shoes outside your home or perhaps in a zip-top bag. Other recommendations from the National Pest Management Association are:
· Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
· Check your sheets for telltale blood spots.
· Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
· Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections.
· Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of bed bugs. Consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation without training.
· Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
· Seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation.
While Calvert hasn’t been a county with a big bedbug problem in past years, that may be changing as bed bugs spread across the country. While no one wants to be terrorized into never going to the movies, never traveling, or never visiting the library, it is good to be aware. The librarians in Calvert have done quite a bit of research on bed bugs. Here are a few of their favorite resources.
Director of Calvert Library Carrie Plymire said, “We are confident that our collection is safe and that our library locations are free of bed bugs. However, library staff will remain vigilant and will continue to inspect materials that are returned to the library. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we check books and their loyal support as we try to disseminate accurate information. Keep calm and Read On.”
Public Relations Coordinator
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Prince Frederick, MD 20678
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