• Press release

Pleasanton library reopens after bed bug scare

Updated: Jul 4

PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton Library on Wednesday, June 22, announced that the library was reopening after being closed for six days because of a possible bug infestation. A patron complained that bites on the skin were tied to reading a book.

After looking at different possibilities and contacting the district library system, a dog trained to detect bed bugs was brought into the library. The dog found bugs in a small section of the library collection, and those books were placed in sealed bags and treated.

Bed bugs have been known to hide in the spine of the binding in hardbound books as well as other parts of the cover.

Below is the notice that the library posted on its Facebook page:

“The Pleasanton Library Board and staff members of the library have the best interests of the community at heart. To keep you informed about our recent library closure, we want to share the reason. Late Monday afternoon, June 13, a patron approached us about a possible bug infestation. We immediately closed the library to the public and began to research how to deal with this possibility. We contacted our district library director, who advised us to communicate with another library to learn how they handled a similar situation.

“A local service was reserved in case the entire library needed heat treatment, which was scheduled for Tuesday, June 21. This extreme action included heating the interior to 140 degrees, which could damage computer equipment. Several staff members were sent home to protect them from possible contact with any bugs. Remaining staff began the arduous task of separating every book and DVD for this treatment.

“We also contacted a service that provided a certified dog to alert to the scent of possible bed bug locations. We scheduled this service for the morning of Monday, June 20. Their highly trained German Shorthair was led through the entire library to “hunt” for any bugs. She located one small area and the books in that area were immediately isolated in four sealed bags. A staff member then drove to our district office to access a portable heater to cook those books. For additional treatment their shelf location was sprayed with a solution of diluted alcohol.

“For future protection, we are contracting this service to plan scheduled prevention, location and treatment. In addition, we are purchasing our own portable heater. It will be used to heat all incoming books as a safety precaution. This includes books from outside libraries which we receive by courier. We want library visitors to feel safe and confident their library staff is doing all they can to maintain the high standard they expect. Thank you for your patience as we have dealt with this issue.”

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