This Policy outlines the Library’s Prevention Protocol and Procedures for situations when Library staff or customers find or suspect bed bugs in the Library environment and provides information resources for staff and customers concerned about bed bugs.
The Library strives to prevent and contain the presence of bed bugs and their eggs in library facilities or on library materials by ensuring that library staff is aware of the prevention protocol and related procedures, and by regularly reviewing best practices to update and improve the protocol and procedures.
The Library will ensure that:
- a proactive approach that reduces the risk to staff and customers is taken;
- only licensed and accredited pest control companies are contracted to work in our facilities;
- ensure recommended best practices from public health authorities are followed and protocols are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain current;
- a consistent communications protocol is followed, and
- an ongoing monitoring program is in place to determine our level of response.
Prevention Protocol and Procedures
The Library recognizes that reporting all sightings and destroying bed bugs and eggs immediately is one of the most important actions we can take toward mitigating bed bugs in our environment. The Library has, therefore, created a protocol and related procedures. All staff is aware of the protocol and procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the Hamilton Public Library test for bed bugs?
All branches of the Hamilton Public Library undergo annual bed bug testing. Branches where localized hits are detected by sniffer dogs will be put on a quarterly inspection schedule. The Central Library is inspected on a quarterly basis. Bed bug inspection reports are listed below.
2. What takes place during an inspection?
A team of trained sniffer dogs and handlers inspect the entire library building. When a sniffer dog detects the scent of a bed bug, this area is referred to as a localized hit. A second sniffer dog will be brought in to confirm each localized hit. A visual inspection by a handler is also carried out.
The Hamilton Public Library treats all areas identified by the sniffer dogs as localized hits regardless of whether there are sightings of bed bugs or not. Treatment of localized hit areas is carried out using super-heated steam technology and a natural chrysanthemum-based residue.
3. What should I do if I find a bed bug in library material?
Customers are asked to immediately place library materials in a plastic bag and seal it as tightly as possible. Re-sealable “Ziploc” type bags are best but, any plastic bag that is tied securely is fine. Return the material to the Hamilton Public Library in the sealed bag. Notify staff of the problem when you return the material. Please do not use the automated check in terminals or drop boxes. Materials will either be treated or discarded at the Hamilton Public Library’s discretion.
4. Where can I find more information about bed bugs?
The City of Hamilton has comprehensive information on their website.