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2019 News

VCU Libraries investigating reports of bed bugs in Cabell Library

September 13, 2019

Wednesday, September 18 update:

Cabell Library showed no evidence of bed bugs in a full building inspection conducted during the overnight hours of September 17 and September 18, 2019. The 5-hour inspection was conducted by a NESDCA-certified canine scent detection team which specializes in detecting any trace of the presence of bed bugs.

The dog-handler team’s work is highly credible, and this particular team has inspected many commercial and government properties over the 11 years they have been working together. One of their more notable recent assignments was a thorough inspection of an aircraft carrier, where reliable detection by the team is absolutely necessary to ensure the health and safety of thousands of sailors who work and live in very close quarters.

All closed-off areas in Cabell Library have been reopened for use. The Starbucks seating area will remain temporarily closed for a routine deep cleaning not related to the bed bug inspection and should reopen today.

Monday, September 16 update: 

The Orkin pest exterminator completed an inspection on Monday morning September 16 of all spaces in Cabell Library where patrons have reported bed bugs. The inspection revealed no evidence of the insects. 

Out of an abundance of caution, VCU Libraries has decided to keep all spaces where patrons reported bed bugs blocked off until the entire building can be inspected for possible signs of the insects. That inspection, with a dog and handler who specialize in detecting bed bugs, is scheduled to begin around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 17, and to conclude before 6 a.m. Wednesday, September 18.

VCU Libraries will continue to post updates as soon as they become available.

Sunday, September 15 update:

On Friday, September 13, VCU Libraries staff were alerted of possible bed bugs in two locations in Cabell Library. Pest control specialists treated one area where bed bugs were confirmed on Friday night, and the area remains blocked off. One other area showed no evidence of bed bugs upon inspection, but also remains blocked off.

On Sunday, September 15, VCU Libraries staff received additional reports of possible bed bugs in three areas in Cabell Library: the security desk, seating booths in Starbucks, and the blue chairs on the second floor overlooking the Compass. The two chairs at the security desk have been replaced with chairs from an unaffected area in the building. All Starbucks seating and the blue chairs on the second floor have been blocked off with caution tape. The Starbucks purchase and serving spaces remain open.

A visual inspection of the new reported spaces is scheduled for Monday morning, September 16. A complete building inspection with a dog and handler who specialize in detecting bed bugs has been scheduled overnight on the evening of Tuesday, September 17. Library operating hours will not be affected.

VCU Libraries will continue to post updates as soon as they become available.

Original message posted Friday, September 13 at 2:45 p.m.:

Cabell Library employees received reports of bed bugs in two parts of the building early in the morning on Friday, September 13. Upon receiving reports, staff immediately closed off the areas in question, designated them as out of order and reported the issue to VCU Facilities Management.

Pest control specialists inspected both spaces in Cabell Library before noon on Friday. Evidence of bed bugs was confirmed in the computer workstation area near the accessible entrance on the first floor. Upholstered furniture in that space has been removed, and the area has been cordoned off. There was no evidence of bed bugs in the second reported location, a third floor study room, but the room will be kept closed temporarily as a precaution.

VCU Libraries is scheduling a complete building inspection as early in the coming week as possible with a dog and handler who specialize in detecting bed bugs. Library operating hours will not be affected.

VCU Libraries has not received any other reports of bed bugs in Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library and will post updates as they become available.

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VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
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Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
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(804) 828-0636

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