Libraries pride themselves on being open and available for every member of the community, and even visitors passing through, to utilize as a place for study, entertainment, work or respite. Unfortunately, with the buildings being so easy to access to such a wide variety of individuals, it means libraries are just as susceptible as any other public place to host tiny pests.
Yes, I’m talking about bed bugs this week. Bed bugs are small, and they like to hide. Anyone can carry them into a building on their clothing, personal belongings, shoes, and even books or other library materials.
Fortunately, there is no need to panic. Your Delaware County District Library staff are trained to recognize signs of any little pests on library materials that have been returned. Additionally, the library takes precautions to make sure bed bugs have not found a home in any other library areas. Two such precautions that the library utilizes include bed bug detection canines and heat treatments through bed bug ovens.
You may already be familiar with dogs being used to detect narcotics, bombs or lost persons, but now dogs are being trained to detect things like insects, mold and even tumors. A human has 5 million scent receptors in the nose, but in comparison, a beagle’s 225 million scent receptors make it highly trainable and incredibly effective to sniff out bed bugs and other problems. Dogs can be brought into public places to do quick and efficient scans of entire buildings and detect problem areas when suspicions arise. This helps library staff localize treatment options in what otherwise would be a very large space.
The Delaware County District Library is also the proud owner of several bed bug ovens. These portable ovens attach to space heaters and are utilized to kill bed bugs that may be hiding inside suspicious library materials. The heat is able to reach all of the cracks and crevices to kill bugs where they reside.
You can rest safely knowing that all of the options I’ve already mentioned are things the library has on hand as preventative and precautionary measures. The Delaware Library strives to keep our facilities safe and clean so you and your entire family can have a pleasant visit. If you’d like to know more about bed bugs and what you could do if you detect them, visit the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force online at centralohiobedbugs.org.
Now that I’m sure you’re feeling nice and itchy (I’m sorry), grab one of these favorite armchair travel books and be whisked away to one of these places around the world.
• “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light” by Paul Bogard. A creative non-fiction writing instructor describes how ever-present, modern artificial lights have changed the way humans experience darkness and bemoans the fact that the primal dark sky can no longer influence science and art.
• “Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution” by Marcus Eriksen. In an effort to bring attention to the plastic pollution problem, the author and his team constructed a raft made from plastic trash and set themselves adrift from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
• “Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape “ by Barry Lopez. A passionate tour of the Arctic landscape covers such topics as the aurora borealis, polar bears, killer whales, migrating icebergs, the region’s indigenous people, and the author’s spiritual experiences there.
• “On Trails: An Exploration” by Robert Moor. A groundbreaking exploration of the role of trails in shaping culture, order and history draws on the author’s international travels and findings in myriad disciplines while exploring examples ranging from tiny ant trails and continental hiking paths to interstate highways and the Internet.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!