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Menlo Park Library reopens after bedbug scare

 

Curly, an Australian shepherd cattle dog mix, set to work sniffing out the Menlo Park Library in the Civic Center on Thursday morning, Oct. 8. Curly wasn't searching for stashed drugs or on a rescue mission. This specially trained dog was sniffing for bedbugs, and fortunately for the library, did not find any.

The library reopened that day after being shut down Tuesday evening, Oct. 6, when a bedbug was found on a chair. The bedbug and the chair were removed, and the library was closed all day Wednesday, Oct. 7, to "allow pest control to inspect, treat and clean the library for any possible remaining bedbugs," City Manager Alex McIntyre said.

The facility was treated with carbon dioxide and ventilated for 24 hours, and the library staff received "bedbug awareness and identification training," he said.

This is the third local library where bedbugs have been found recently. Bed bugs were found on chairs in the Rinconada and Mitchell Park libraries in Palo Alto last week.

"We're happy to be open again," said Menlo Park Library Director Susan Holmer.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Coulie
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

Let's check and treat all libraries, even if we have to bring in the dogs. This seems to be a problem county wide, let's check our clinics and county hospitals. Blame the drought, blame the homeless who have no where else to go for a restroom and water, or stop blaming anyone and use plastic seating rather than cushioned chairs. Yes, comfort will suffer, but the health of all needs to be considered.


3 people like this
Posted by Marybeth
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I highly recommend that movie theaters be checked as well. I've received flea bites and was warned by a pest control person that bed bugs are also a problem.


2 people like this
Posted by library patron
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

What are we supposed to do with library books we have at home? Can we disinfect in precautionary way?

Almanac - how about a helpful story?


Like this comment
Posted by avid readers
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 1:13 pm

apparently, all these bed bugs are avid readers. another issue as we see it--walking down some of the streets in the area--there is a strong odor of urine along whole blocks at a time. not only is this disgusting, and polluting the bay, but also will bring in a whole other set of disease and bugs. -not sure if it is pet or human, but it is also disgusting.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm

The main public library in New Orleans had ants when I was there recently.

Being a big city library with lots of patrons in great need, they had bigger fish to fry. When I mentioned to the librarian that a couple of ants had crawled across my hand, he gave me a brief glance, nodded to the effect of "We know," and went back to what he was doing.

There's nothing like a big city.

Bed bugs would be a big deal there or anywhere, though. This discovery really complicates things for the MP library and its patrons.


2 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm

I was just in our Rinconada Library last night and felt the need to stand and read a magazine. How can the libraries prevent bedbugs from being deposited the day after eradication? Not only libraries, but apparently buses/trains have people who ride them so they can sleep, so bedbugs are spread there too. We have never had head lice or bedbugs in our home, but I heard it's traumatizing and forever life-altering. Here's an article on the psychological toll bed bugs have on people: Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by library patron
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I don't think we should be so quick to point fingers at those who are disadvantaged. We have many residents who travel and lot, and could have picked up the bugs in a hotel or even a resort. Palo Alto had the same problem in their libraries


7 people like this
Posted by Louise68
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Dearie me..... I had no idea this problem was so widespread now. The poor library.

FWIW --- long ago, in the glory days of passenger-train travel -- the late 1940s! -- passengers sometimes complained to railroad management about finding bedbugs in the sleepers they had ridden in! Sleeper space is -- and was -- very expensive.

So --- bedbugs are not spread only by poor people. Anyone can get them -- and from many places.


Like this comment
Posted by observer
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:54 pm

looked for a book sanitizer on Amazon and found nothing. Rather expensive machines i.e. hundreds of dollars each are available from Taiwan or Korea. Here is an opportunity for an entreprneur to develop a reasonably priced unit for the home or the local libraries.


11 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2015 at 8:43 am

really? is a registered user.

I think we should just ignore it.

See no weevil, speak to weevil, hear no weevil.......


Like this comment
Posted by SaraMP
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

@PaloAltan: If headlice is traumatizing, then 95 percent of the schoolchildren in the Midpeninsula are traumatized. Everyone's been through it, it's a nuisance, but it's not that big a deal -- and there's a pesticide-free way to treat it. Bedbugs, on the other hand ...


3 people like this
Posted by Arlene
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm

The bedbugs are not coming in on returned books, they are living in people's clothes and bags and relocating to the cushions of chairs. Also a problem is body lice. Many libraries have changed to plastic seating, no fabric cushions, which is nice too because some patrons are incontinent or spill things, and who wants to sit in someone else's bodily fluids? It's time to lose the fabric cushions, in waiting rooms and all public places. They can't be cleaned properly. Cleaning staff could use a light spritz of diluted vinegar in daily wipe downs, this will deter them and not subject patrons to harsh chemicals.


Like this comment
Posted by Tussily
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Oct 8, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Also at risk are coffee shops with cushy chairs, most of which are not cleaned properly. I've seen ant trails in stores, sow bugs in the theater at Stanford, spiders in all libraries. A more vigilant cleaning is necessary for all our health. Think of plopping your toddler down on the rug at story time, only to come home with bedbugs. Not fun.


Like this comment
Posted by Critter Hitter
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

I guess this means that bookworms and bedbugs are natural enemies.


2 people like this
Posted by library patron
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

my research shows that these bugs indeed can hide in backs of books.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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