Bed bugs were sprayed Monday at the North Platte Public Library, director Cecilia Lawrence said.Lawrence said suspected areas, including all the baseboards, were sprayed by Orkin. She said the library will be checked again in 10-14 days.
The library was closed for four days after bedbugs were found on “a couple chairs.”
Mayor Dwight Livingston announced the situation early Friday morning. The chairs were removed, crushed and hauled away to the landfill.
Both Lawrence and Livingston believe the infestation is isolated. No bugs were found elsewhere, Lawrence said.
She said all the chairs, baseboards and public spaces were sprayed, including the carpets in the public areas. No bugs were found in books, where they are more difficult to eradicate.
Lawrence said bedbugs have been found in many libraries across the country, including the Denver Public Library.
“North Platte is seeing an insurgence that seems like it generally started on the east coast and is working its way across the country,” she said. “Bedbugs are hitchhikers. They don’t care whether a person is a wealthy traveler or someone on the street.”
She said travelers often use the library’s computers to check email and browse the web when they are on the road.
Bedbugs are small, oval and brownish and live on the blood of animals or humans. They can move quickly over floors, walls and ceilings, but they do not fly. They are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping, so there are no readily accessible hosts at the library.
The bites are painless at first but later turn into itchy welts, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions, the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.
Adults have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.