The Palatine Public Library was closed Thursday due to a possible bed bug infestation.
Library staff said they found two dead bed bugs in the main library Wednesday evening. Both bugs were discovered on an isolated table in the library’s main room, staff said.
“While only two bugs were found, the Library is exercising all due diligence and has scheduled a complete and thorough inspection of the 90,000 square-foot building for Thursday, July 9, 2015,” the library announced in a Thursday release on the closing.
All programs and events scheduled for the day at the main library at 700 N. North Ct. have been canceled for the inspection.
The library’s Hoffman Estates location at 3600 Lexington Dr. in Hoffman Estates, and the Rand Road branch, located at 1585 Rand Rd. in Palatine, will remain open.
Bed bugs are not new to the Chicago area, as the city topped the list of Orkin’s top 50 worst cities for bed bugs for the third year in a row in January.
Orkin ranked U.S. cities by the number of bed bug treatments they performed from January to December in 2014. In Chicago, treatments were reported in a number of skin-crawling locations, including public transit vehicles, downtown office buildings, police headquarters, a fire station, a school, a library and a movie theater, according to Orkin.
“Bed bugs are a serious issue across the country, and they’re very difficult to control,” Ron Harrison, an Orkin entomologist and director of technical services said. “Bed bugs are not limited to any level of cleanliness or income, which means they can be found in any home or hotel. They’re great hitchhikers, and people often bring them inside on their clothes or in their luggage.”
To accommodate for the increase in bed bugs in recent years, the Orkin study showed that Americans are spending significantly more to eliminate bed bugs. In 2013, Americans spent $446 million on bed bug treatment compared to just $70 million in 2004.
Bed bugs are not known to spread human disease like other insects, but they can leave an affected person’s skin itchy and covered in bloody welts.
“Palatine Library is taking a strong proactive approach to resolve this incident quickly, and will continue to monitor and mitigate the issue to minimize patron contact. No incidents of bites or evidence bug detritus have been reported,” the library’s staff wrote.
Palatine’s main library is expected to reopen for normal hours on Friday.
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