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Washoe County Library System Identifies Possible Traces of Bed Bugs

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Andrea Tavener

All Potential Materials Are Heat Treated For Elimination.

Libraries across the country struggle with the issue of bed bugs.  According to the Washoe County Health District, bed bugs can be found anywhere. In 2016, Washoe County Library System identified books with bed bug detritus, and the Library has current procedures in place to effectively handle any possible infestations, including staff trained to identify and eliminate any possible contaminated materials.  In 2017, Washoe County Library System implemented a  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) project that allowed the Library System to touch every book in the Library’s collection.  At that time they found no evidence of bed bug detritus in the books on the shelves. As materials are returned, all books are thoroughly examined for evidence of bed bugs. Washoe County Library System has purchased a heat system to sanitize materials in the event that any books become infested. Washoe County Library System encourages all patrons to review any materials prior to returning them to the library. 

As mentioned, according to the Washoe County Health District human bed bugs are found all over the world in all kinds of neighborhoods and settings. During the last decade there has been a significant increase in the reported number of infestations. The good news is that this insect in not known to transmit any type of human disease. However, some individuals experience intense itching from the bites that can lead to nervous and digestive disorders. The challenge is to prevent the spread of this pest by correctly identifying it and eliminating it.   

Even with the current careful library inspections of materials and protocols in place,  some materials located at the North Valleys Library have been identified with possible traces of bed bugs.  However, Washoe County Library System can confirm at this time that staff has not seen any  evidence of live bed bugs and is treating this concern with due diligence. Washoe County Library System will be reaching out to the proper authorities to complete a more thorough investigation.  According to Library Director Jeff Scott, “we are taking every precaution and taking this matter very seriously. We are currently taking next steps with pest control and with the Washoe County Health District.”  Based on the findings, Washoe County Library System will take any steps necessary, which may include hiring a licensed pest control professional (PCP) to effectively eradicate any potential bed bug infestations. We will keep the public notified of updates about this issue.  For more information on bedbugs and links to other resources, please visit the Washoe County Health District Bed Bug Information website. 



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